In the book The Last Trumpet: The Mystery of God is Finished and a New Age Begins, author Robert Johnston explores biblical prophecy and the promises of God that relate to the end times. This excerpt is from chapter 2.
This seven-year period is important to understand because it will also be a time of tribulation that will come on the whole world. During this seven-year period, God’s plan for the Gentiles and the Jews will begin to merge. The tribulation period will begin on the day Antichrist confirms a seven-year covenant with Israel, which will allow them to rebuild their temple and begin offering sacrifices on the altar in Jerusalem without interference from other nations. Gabriel told Daniel the following about Antichrist and the covenant and about when Antichrist would violate the covenant: “And he shall enter into a strong and firm covenant with the many for one week [seven years]. And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and offering to cease [for the remaining three and one-half years]” (v. 27 AMP).
After 483 of the 490 years decreed for the nation of Israel passed, God cut them off from his plan because they cut the Messiah off on that date by rejecting and crucifying him. Without their Messiah, they could not fulfill the decree of bringing in everlasting righteousness, sealing up all prophecy, and anointing the Holy of Holies. In the following chapters, we will see how this seven-year period and the plan for Israel all tie together with other scriptures.
The last seven years will not begin until Israel is gathered back to their land (which it now is), until Antichrist as a man of peace confirms that seven-year covenant, and until the Jews begin to offer sacrifices again. They will begin to make expiation for sin when they begin their sacrifices to God. Almost two thousand years have passed since the Jews were cut off from God’s plan, but they will be grafted back into his plan when they begin to make amends for their sins by offering sacrifices. Almost two thousand years ago God chose others to carry out his plan.
THE GENTILE NATIONS ARE GRAFTED IN
When Jesus came into the world, he came at the exact time God had ordained, but his people were unprepared. Galatians 4:4–5 tells us this truth. “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”
The Jewish nation was not ready to receive the promise because they had ignored the prophecies of their own prophets. They had not yet brought an end to their sins and transgressions. They were not prepared to usher in righteousness or to receive their Messiah. This lack of preparation didn’t cause God to change his plans, only to delay them. His work goes forth at the appointed time, whether mankind is ready or not. He would use this unprepared nation as an example of his severity and mercy for the entire world to see and contemplate. God had another work to do, which had been ordained before the world began, a plan that would mean riches for the rest of the world. None of the princes of this world knew of this plan, “for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2:8).
When Gabriel explained the 490-year period to Daniel, he didn’t interrupt it at the end of the 483rd-year period as we are doing now. On the contrary, he continued through the remaining seven years without interruption because the vision was God’s plan for Israel alone. When Israel didn’t submit to God’s plan, however, God delayed his plan for them. This interruption in God’s plan is similar to when God tried to lead them from slavery to the Promised Land, as described in the book of Exodus. If they had submitted to God and his plan, they would have arrived at the Promised Land in only eleven days. Because of their rebelling and murmuring against God, however, that generation remained in the wilderness for forty years (Deut. 1:2 AMP). They remained until that generation died and a new generation was born that would enter God’s plan.
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