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Also See: Antichrist | Pre-Wrath Rapture | Post-Tribulation Rapture | New World Order |
Last Days Calendar

Understanding God's Appointed Times

Steven L. Sherman, 2003

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Millions of Christians anticipate a secret and silent, pre-tribulation rapture, whisking them away to the glorious marriage supper of the Lamb. This concept is alluring. It would be a source of comfort to not pass through a coming great tribulation. Although this doctrine has wide appeal, does biblical evidence confirm it as truth? The author contends from biblical prophecy that in the foreseeable future even those who have enjoyed religious freedom with be persecuted for faith in Christ. 238 pages, paper.

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The Arab Spring, Israel and the Final Wars of the Last Days
by Steven L. Sherman

News headlines are filled with events in the Middle East that portend ever greater threats to Israel:

  • Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons while calling for the eradication of the Jewish people.
  • Palestinian terrorists fired hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilians and were rewarded with upgraded status at the United Nations.
  • Egypt's terrorist-led government is pushing through a new Shariah law based constitution and has declared martial law.
  • In the wake of the instability and the anti-American and anti-Israel atmosphere, the Obama Administration has sent 200 Abrams tanks and 16 state of the art F-16 fighter jets to Egypt’s Mohammed Morsi that can be used by the Muslim Brotherhood to attack Israel.
  • Despite sequester cuts in the United States which has weakened our military, Secretary of State John Kerry authorized $250 million in aid to Egypt’s terrorist government.

President Obama's confirmed nominee for Secretary of Defense is Senator Chuck Hagel who is anti-Israel. Senator Hagel has voted to appease Iran. He has even urged direct talks with the vile terrorists of Hamas, who target Israeli civilians with hundreds of rocket attacks every year. He supports dangerous cuts to the U.S. military as unrest grows in the Middle East. Even more disturbing, Iran has publicly welcomed Hagel's confirmation, while Israel has stated, "We are worried."

In the ninth chapter of the book of Daniel are prophetic passages concerning periods of time referred to as “sevens.” “Seven” is the English translation of the Hebrew word “shabua.” This term for “seven” is translated literally as “week” in many English Bible versions. The term “seven” or “week” when found in Daniel is interpreted to mean a seven-year period of time. The reason that Bible scholars have determined that in Daniel “seven” means seven years (a “week” of years) is based in part upon the biblical law concerning the “Sabbath of Years.”

The nation of Israel was commanded to observe the seventh day as a day of rest, or Sabbath (Exodus 20:8–11), and also to observe every seventh year as a year of “rest for the land” (the land lies fallow and “rests” from the taxing labors of agricultural production). This seventh year is known as the Sabbatical Year:

“But in the seventh year the land is to have a Sabbath of rest, a Sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards.” Leviticus 25:4

Israel, as the Bible records, never observed this regulation. This act of disobedience and others, including intermarriage with neighboring idolatrous nations and idol worship resulted in the Jews being taken captive to Babylon.

Daniel wrote regarding the “sevens” during the time when many Jews were serving as captives in Babylon in the sixth century B.C. Daniel understood that according to God’s Word, as revealed to the prophet Jeremiah, the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years (Daniel 9:2). Indeed, this captivity lasted for exactly seventy years to the day as was prophesied by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 25:12).

Why seventy years’ time of captivity? Each single year of captivity was punishment for every seven-year period the Sabbath Year regulation was ignored. For 490 years, the people of Israel had failed to observe the Sabbatical Year regulation, totaling seventy missed Sabbatical Year observances. Seventy years of captivity was the punishment for their failure.

This special time of punishment was foretold long before Israel acted in disobedience. Leviticus 26:14–46 speaks of degrees of punishment to the people of Israel for disobedience. When Israel would refuse to carry out the commands of the Lord and violate His covenant, the Lord would bring disease and defeat to the nation, and much of the Old Testament narrative describes this process. The people would then be taken into captivity by their enemies:

“then the land will enjoy its Sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its Sabbaths.” Leviticus 26:34

Judah was taken captive for “70 years.” The land possessed by the tribal clan of Judah and the city of Jerusalem were desolate for that time. During the Babylonian captivity, the land had seventy consecutive years of Sabbath rests to make up for the 490 years of disobedience.

When discussing the seventy years of captivity, it is essential to note that our modern day Julian calendar is based on the passage of time it takes our Earth to revolve once around our Sun—a “solar year” of 365 and one-quarter days’ duration. In contrast, the Bible calendar was based on a 360–day “lunar year,” twelve lunar months comprised of thirty days each. Our modern calendar requires a periodic leap year every four years to compensate for the quarter day ending each solar year. Likewise, the Hebrew calendar required a periodic additional month, a thirteenth month, to compensate for the five and one-quarter uncounted days on the 360–day calendar so festivals and observances would not shift through the seasons of the year. All Bible dates must be interpreted in the light of the 360–day lunar calendar.

Now a special “seven” was foretold to Daniel:

“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.” Daniel 9:27

This passage of Scripture parallels a seven-year time outlined in the book of Revelation. One seven is a period of seven years or a “week of years.” “In the middle of the seven” refers to the exact time halfway through the seven-year period—after three and one half years—of great difficulty have elapsed.

In the book of Revelation there is a time period of forty-two months mentioned in Revelation 11:2 and 13:5. Forty-two months equals three and one-half biblical, lunar calendar years. This special period of three and one-half years, which begins at the start of the seven-year tribulation period, is equivalent to Daniel’s “middle of the seven.” We again see three and one-half years represented in Revelation 11:3 and 12:6 as a 1,260–day period. Thirty days per lunar month multiplied by forty two months equals 1,260 days. 360 days in a lunar calendar year multiplied by three and one-half equals 1,260 days also.

Therefore, the terms “middle of the seven,” “three and one-half years,” “forty-two months,” and “1,260 days” are equivalent terms.

The one who sets up an abomination (Antichrist’s idol, or image, of himself) causing desolation (Jewish people, refusing to bow to an idol, fleeing Jerusalem) affirms a covenant (an accord, or pact) with the Jewish people for a “period of time,” specifically, seven lunar or biblical years. This charismatic leader depicted in the Bible, the Antichrist, violates the “agreement” halfway through the covenant, three and one-half years following its signing, and sets his image for worship.

According to the end times’ prophecy found in Daniel 9, the final 7 years do not begin until the confirmation of the covenant. To confirm a covenant means there has to be a preexisting signed agreement or peace treaty already in place. The Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on September 17, 1978, following thirteen days of secret negotiations at Camp David.

A series of secret meetings between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were hosted by Norway. These meetings produced the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords between Palestinians and Israel, a plan discussing the necessary elements and conditions for a future Palestinian state.

In July 2002, the "quartet" of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations, and Russia outlined the principles of a "road map" for peace, including an independent Palestinian state. The road map was released in April 2003 after the appointment of Mahmoud Abbas as the first-ever Palestinian Authority Prime Minister.

Today’s world leaders, spiritually blind and desiring Arab oil, are more than willing to appease the Muslim world by demonizing Jews as occupiers and oppressors rather than the rightful heirs to the land of Israel. The Quartet is pressuring Israel to, “Give up land for peace.” After Israel gave the Gaza Strip over to the Palestinians, instead of peace, Israel received periodic rocket attacks. Land for peace also means that the Golan Heights will go back to Syria. The hostility, the ongoing bombardments, the shooting and the terror the entire Jordan Valley lived under for 19 years will start all over again. In return for a piece of paper that has no meaning to the Arabs (they have not honored on one clause of the Oslo Accords and the Road Map to Peace); the nation of Israel is to go back to the pre-1967 borders. The true purpose of a “land for peace” agreement is to render the land of Israel as virtually indefensible.

One of the results of the Arab Spring was the 2011 Egyptian revolution and fall of Hosni Mubarak. The Muslim Brotherhood was not only legalized but is now the most powerful political force in Egypt. After over 30 years of relative peace and trading with Israel based on the Camp David Accords, the Muslim Brotherhood has declared the treaty null and void. The original agreement, upon which the Oslo Accords and The Road Map to Peace were based, is no longer in effect. But now, any future signed peace agreement between Israel and her enemies will serve as the confirmation of the covenant as spoken of in Daniel and will mark the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week.

The final Battle of Armageddon will occur at the end of the period of the Great Tribulation. But the Bible clearly indicates that Israel will endure through two great conflicts that serve as precursors to this final battle

Psalm 83:1-8
O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still. See how your enemies are astir, how your foes rear their heads.

With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish. "Come," they say, "let us destroy them as a nation, that the name of Israel be remembered no more."

With one mind they plot together; they form an alliance against you- the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, of Moab and the Hagrites, Gebal, Ammon and Amalek, Philistia, with the people of Tyre.

Even Assyria has joined them to lend strength to the descendants of Lot.

One thousand years before the birth of Christ, Psalm 83 prophesied that there would be a plot by the enemies of Israel in the last days to totally annihilate God’s chosen people. The following is a list of the ancient names of Israel’s enemies and their present geographical locations:

Edom (the descendants of Esau): South Jordan
Ishmael (Abraham’s son sired through Sarah’s Egyptian handmaiden Hagar): Saudi Arabia.
Moab (Lot’s son through incest): Central Jordan
Hagarites: Egypt
Gebal: North Lebanon where the Hezbollah are active
Ammon: (Lot’s son through incest): North Jordan
Amalek: North Sinai located in Egypt
Philistia: Gaza, the location of the PLO and Hamas
Tyre: South Lebanon where the Hezbollah reside
Assur: Syria which is also a major base of the Hezbollah

This 10 nation confederacy comprises five modern Middle Eastern countries and also includes the Gaza.

Starting directly north of Israel and proceeding clockwise, the participants in the Psalm 83 War will be: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the inhabitants of the Gaza. With the Mediterranean Sea on the west, Israel is totally and directly encircled by her enemies. Each of these countries is a Muslim stronghold.

The intentions of the 21st century inhabitants of the Gaza are clearly stated in Articles 6 and 8 of the Hamas charter, which read (in part): “Israel will rise and will remain erect until Islam eliminates it … The Islamic Resistance Movement … strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine … Allah is our goal, the Prophet our model, the Qur’an our Constitution, Jihad our path and death for the cause of Allah our most sublime belief.”

Ezekiel 38:1-6, 18
The word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal; prophesy against him and say: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I am against you, O Gog, chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. I will turn you around, put hooks in your jaws and bring you out with your whole army—your horses, your horsemen fully armed, and a great horde with large and small shields, all of them brandishing their swords. Persia, Cush and Put will be with them, all with shields and helmets, also Gomer with all its troops, and Beth Togarmah from the far north with all its troops—the many nations with you.

This is what will happen in that day: When Gog attacks the land of Israel, my hot anger will be aroused, declares the Sovereign LORD.  

This war lead by Gog of the land of Magog was prophesied by Ezekiel almost 600 years before the birth of Christ and is listed in chapters 38 and 39 of the book that bears his name.  

The descendants of Magog, Meshech and Tubal are located in Asia Minor.

Magog: Western Turkey
Meshech: Central Turkey
Tubal: Eastern Turkey

The Lord says here that he will bring these peoples of Asia Minor down to Israel with all their armies from the following nations:

Persia: Iran
Put: Libya
Cush: Northern Sudan
Gomer: East Central Turkey
Beth Togarmah: The southeastern part of Turkey near the Syrian border  

These armies from Asia Minor, northern Africa and Iran who will invade Israel are also from nations whose majority populations are Muslim or whose governments are in the hands of Muslims.   

The modern nations of Turkey, Iran, Libya and Northern Sudan form an outer ring of the prophesied invading armies bent on the destruction of Israel.

Although Turkey has been a member of N.A.T.O. since 1952, and a friend to the West a major shift as taken place in the last 2 years. Anti-Israel extremists and Turkish jihadists organized a flotilla to violate Israel’s naval blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza at the end of May 2010. November 6th of 2012, a Turkish court opened a trial in absentia of four former Israeli military commanders in the killing of nine people aboard a Turkish aid ship that tried to break a Gaza blockade.

Prosecutors have demanded life in prison for several officers in command at the time of the 2010 Israeli raid, but it appears unlikely that any sentence could be carried out.

The case symbolizes the rupture between Turkey and Israel, former allies whose diplomatic ties are effectively frozen. Israel has rebuffed Turkish demands to apologize for the raid on the ship and to compensate those killed as a precondition for normalizing relations. Modern day Iran is another prophesied key participant in the Ezekiel 38-39 War. In September of this year, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took his case for stronger action against Iran straight to the American people, after facing stiff opposition from the Obama administration.

“Iran is guided by a leadership with an unbelievable fanaticism,” he told NBC’s Meet the Press. “It’s the same fanaticism that you see storming your embassies today. You want these fanatics to have nuclear weapons?”

The pieces of the puzzle concerning the wars of these last days are being fitted together right before our very eyes. According to Daniel 9:27, the countdown clock towards the road to Armageddon will begin when He (the Antichrist) will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ As of now, the stage is being set for a major conflict in the Middle East between Israel and her neighbors that will result in the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy.