by Roy A. Reinhold, 1998
If I were to tell you that the 7 year period were to begin in 1997, or 2008, or 2025, what effect would that have on your life decisions with regards to marriage, children, college, a career, or work? Many, in times past, have seriously erred by selling possessions and heading off to some mountaintop to await God's coming; and they were all in error. In the 1970's, I knew a number of people who put off college, a family, or training because they were totally convinced that the second coming of Jesus was near. I don't know what happened to most of them, but I know that they were wrong and had wrong attitudes. Knowledge of prophecy should propel us to live a godly life without fear, not seek to avoid the circumstances of life out of selfish desires. I believe that God has not told us the exact year of the beginning of the end-times period in order that there wouldn't be so many crazy people doing crazy things. However, the hundreds of prophetic passages in the Bible give us clear signs to know the times that would precede the 7 year period.
A short review of past predictions might be helpful. Around the year 1000 AD, many became convinced that they were in the end-times and gave their possessions to the poor and awaited the second coming. 1878 AD was a big year in end-times beliefs, since it was 2520 prophetic years (of 360 day years) after the Babylonian captivity of Judah in 606 BC. The Jehovah's Witnesses trumpeted 1914 and later 1929 as the end the world, and those days passed without any prophetic significance, as have all the other predicted dates by this cult. In the 1970's, fine Christians like Hal Lindsey hinted at 1988 as the year of the second coming, which means that the 7 year period would begin in 1981. We all remember Edgar Whisenant who wrote, 88 Reasons Why Christ Is Coming In 1988, and when it passed published another book called, 89 Reasons Why Christ Is Coming In 1989. In 1992, a Korean group took out newspaper ads all over the world and said that the rapture was on the Feast of Trumpets in 1992, as did one group in the US. In 1993, a group called the Great White Brotherhood in Russia and the Ukraine, headed by Maria Christos a self-styled messiah, said that the kingdom of God would begin in the fall of 1993. Harold Camping, a radio preacher on the Open Forum program of the Family Radio network, published a book titled, 1994, teaching that Jesus was coming in 1994 based mainly on studies of numerology in the Bible.
Many other teachers have predicted the 7 year period around the year 2000 AD. A fine Christian named Gordon Lindsay wrote, God's Plan Of the Ages, in the 1970's, in which he presented very interesting studies of cycles to arrive at the conclusion that the 7 year period runs from 1994- 2001 AD. Similar work in the studies of cycles by Grant Jeffrey and presented in his fine work, Armageddon: Appointment With Destiny, predicted 2000 AD as the year of the second coming. Finally, a sincere Christian and long-time television teacher on Bible prophecy, Dr. Jack Van Impe, taught that the 7 year period will end about 2000 to 2003 AD, leading to the beginning of the 7 year period in 1993 to 1996. Dr. Van Impe also relates that Pope John Paul II has taught that Jesus is coming in the year 2000 AD, and that the Pope expects to be alive at His return.
Do any of these teachers have specific inside knowledge from God that they are correct? No they don't, and neither do I know the exact year that the 7 year period will begin, nor do I know the exact year for the second coming! The one thing I know for sure, is that the second coming will not happen in the year 2000 AD, because the peace treaty of prophecy did not occur in 1993 on 30 September/1 October. Therefore, the year 2000 AD prediction can conclusively be proven to be wrong already!
One methodology explored by Grant Jeffrey in his book was extremely interesting,
where he arrived at the end of the 69 weeks of years of Daniel 9:25-27,
on April 6, 32 AD. I agree with this conclusion. He then added four 490
year cycles for Israel to arrive at 1993, which led to the second coming
in the year 2000 AD. Another proof Mr. Jeffrey explored was the Jubilee
in 28 AD, to which he added 2000 prophetic years to arrive at the year 2000
AD (2000 years times 360 days divided by 365.25 = 1971.25 years, then 1971.25
years plus 28.8 AD = 2000 AD). The thought process here is excellent, since
he used the following texts to arrive at his theory:
So if we were facing one another and talking about this subject, I would tell you that my guess based on my knowledge of Bible prophecy would be the 7 year period beginning in 2026-2028 AD or 1997-1999 AD. It would only be a guess based on the thousand years as a day in God's viewpoint and the millennium being presented as a Sabbath day for the earth and lasting a thousand years. It would also be based on the teaching of Jesus that the generation alive at the time Israel becomes a nation would not pass away before all these things would be fulfilled (and this uses either 1948 or 1967 when they captured Jerusalem and the West Bank). If we use 70 years as a life span of a generation (Psalm 90:10), then 70 plus 1948 equals 2018 AD, and 70 plus 1967 equals 2037 AD. This I firmly believe, that the second coming will occur on or before the year 2037 AD. I also know that those teaching a second coming in 1999 or the year 2000 AD are wrong!
Rather than looking for a specific year for the beginning of the 7 year period, the believer ought to be cognizant of specific signs that Jesus told the disciples, that would be present as birth pangs prior to the Tribulation period. Matthew 24:4-8, relates these birth pangs signs as false teachers within christianity, ethnic warfare, famines in various places, and earthquakes (also Mark 13:5-8). The Luke 21:8-11, version of the Olivet Discourse speaks of false teachers within christianity, ethnic warfare, and famines, while adding plagues, great earthquakes, terrors, and great signs from heaven.
These false teachers will claim that Jesus is the Messiah, while misleading many within the church. Ecumenism, homosexuals ordained as priests and ministers, women ordained in the ministry, acceptance of psychiatry and psychology as God-ordained means to deal with problems, and a falling away from the belief in the Bible as the literal Word of God without error are all a part of the false teachings creeping into the church. One thing I've never understood, is how pastors and church denominations can so easily attack other believers, often over minor differences. I believe that you shouldn't compromise your beliefs for any reasons, but to attack others for sprinkling rather than dunking, or attacking those who seek to operate in the gifts of the Spirit or those who don't is elitism and characteristic of tribal society. In the category of false teachers we could include David Korresh, Jim Jones, Maria Christos of the Great White Brotherhood in Russia, Edgar Whisenant, Harold Camping, and many others who create cult teachings for the purpose of gathering a following. This type of deception will probably increase greatly as we grow closer to that time.
Great earthquakes are predicted and the numbers of serious earthquakes has been geometrically increasing throughout this century. Look for an even greater number in the future. Famines in various places is a sign, and the drought and attendant famines in Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Kenya are well-known. The Bible doesn't say that there will be famine over most of the earth, only that severe famine will be in various places. Plagues are predicted and the rise in incidence of AIDS, sexual diseases, diphtheria, tuberculosis and many other diseases creates the possibility of huge numbers of people dying from communicable viruses. Great signs from heaven are unknown, but may be things like the collision of a comet with Jupiter in 1994, or the Hale-Bopp comet in 1997.
Ethnic warfare, religious warfare, tribal warfare, and land disputes are all reasons why there are a huge number of small-scale wars going on right now. Jesus said that there would be increased warfare and peoples' love would grow cold because of crime and warfare until people fled back to their own homelands. Ethnic cleansing and religious warfare are each a sign of the end-times, when they become more widespread than in times past.
The actual start of the 7 year period may be a peace treaty of prophecy between Israel and the surrounding Arab nations, probably brokered by the US, Europe, and the Vatican (or that may come along in the first 3.5 years of the end-times 7 year period). This peace treaty will most likely be a land for peace deal with Israel giving up the Golan Heights in exchange for UN troops stationed there, and formal recognition of Israel with trade treaties. One major sign of the start of the 7 year period is the building of the Temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It must be built either before the start of the 7 years or be under construction at that time in order for it to have been in operation for a time by the middle of the 7 year period. Don't look for a specific year, look for the peace
treaty and the rebuilt Temple as major signposts of the 7 year period to