The Year God’s End-Times Clock Began Ticking

Posted on April 25, 2019

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By David Ettinger

clock

How Close Are We?
How close we are to the end of this era of human history? From a Christian perspective, “this era of human history” refers to the Creation until the establishing of the Millennial (1,000-year) Kingdom (Revelation 20:1-6).

What about end-times prophecy: Is it now being fulfilled? If God’s end-times clock has begun ticking, when did it start? I believe the answer to the first question is “yes,” and I will give you the specific year further down.

Two Important Terms
The first term, “end-times” refers to a general time-frame when God’s prophetic timetable officially begins. By contrast, the second term, “last days” is specific, designating the final seven years of this era of human history. We learn of this final seven years from Daniel 9:24-27. Verse 24 speaks of “seventy ‘sevens’” – a “seven” being seven years.

In other words, Daniel tells of a period of 490 years beginning when “the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.” This 490-year period began in 445 B.C. when Persian King Artaxerxes issued a decree to Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1-8).

daniel

The 490 years will end at the return of Christ. However there was a break in the timeline; at the end of the 69th week (or 483rd year), “the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing” (Daniel 9:26). This speaks of Christ’s crucifixion. So, 69 sevens – 483 years – have been fulfilled. The 70th week – the final seven years – is on hold, awaiting its fulfillment.

This final seven years will be highlighted by the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and the Church, the return of Christ, the Rapture of the Church, and the destruction of Christ’s foes (yes, in this sequence). The event which will set off the 70th week is the signing of a peace covenant between Israel and the Antichrist (Daniel 9:27).

In both the Old and New Testament, the term “last days” refers to this final period of history. The phrase is used eight times, and only one of them, Hebrews 1:2, is non-prophetic, when the writer says, “in these last days.” The Jews, to whom the book was written, took the “last days” to mean the Messianic Age.

Since Jesus had come, Jewish believers regarded the time since Jesus’ resurrection as the Messianic Era, or “these last days,” and believed his return was imminent. This one exception aside, the clear meaning of “last days” is the final seven years of history.

The Lead-Up
Because a world leader, the Antichrist, has not yet arisen and Israel has made no seven-year peace covenant, we know that the seven years have not begun. However, this does not mean that the end-times clock – the lead-up to “the last days” – has not already begun. I am convinced that God’s end-times clock is ticking, and it has been doing so for quite some time. When did it start?

If the “last days” – the final seven years – begin when Israel signs a peace covenant with the Antichrist, we can assume two things: there must be an Antichrist and there must be an Israel. Though the Antichrist has not yet arisen, the other party, Israel, is here.

israel flag

Away from her land since A.D. 70 until the middle of the 20th century, many historians over the centuries stumbled over the great prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27. They wondered, “How can this passage be literally fulfilled when Israel no longer exists?”

It’s a good question, but unfortunately it led to an allegorical translation of the Bible and the rise of “Replacement Theology,” the errant belief that the Church has “replaced” Israel – that the wonderful promises made to Israel were transferred to the Church.

And then came May 14, 1948, when David Ben-Gurion, the head of the Jewish Agency, declared “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel.” Suddenly, there was a startling answer given to the question asked 2,700 years ago by the Prophet Isaiah: “Who has ever heard of such things? Who has ever seen things like this? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment?” (Isaiah 66:8). Israel, miraculously, unexpectedly, and amazingly was a nation again. Her dried bones were revived (Ezekiel 37), and Israel became an entity once more.

the cross

And with her rebirth on May 14, 1948, God’s end-times clock began ticking. The lead-up to the “last days” began, and is quickly progressing.

How Much Longer?
How much longer will God’s end-times clock tick until it gongs, signaling the beginning of the “last days” – the final seven years of this era of human history? Nobody knows, but one thing is certain: though we are not yet in the “last days,” we are living in the end-times. What we don’t know is how far along we are in the end-times.

Until then, we live in the expectation of Jesus’ glorious return, knowing that His coming is near. May we be found faithful in sharing the saving truth of forgiveness of sin and eternal life through Christ’s shed blood! Advertisements