Midst - by Randy Nettles -
"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate" (Daniel 9:27). The prophet Daniel is clearly referring to the last 7 years ("one week") on earth before Jesus' 2nd Coming to the earth. This time period is known as the Tribulation and/or Jacob's Trouble. Numerous Old Testament prophets referred to it as the Day of the Lord.
Does the term "in the midst" mean the exact middle or could it mean near the middle? There are 269 times in the Old Testament that use that terminology. Very few of them refer to the exact middle. Most of them are in reference to close proximity to the middle or center.
For example, in 1 Samuel 16, Samuel the prophet went to the house of Jesse of the tribe of Judah to anoint one of his sons as the king who would eventually replace Saul. Jesse had 8 sons counting David. God informed Samuel that he was to anoint David, the youngest. "Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren..." (1 Samuel 16:13). With seven brothers, there is no exact middle, for there are four on one side of David and three on the other side of David. If there would have been 9 sons; then yes, David could have been in the exact middle of them, but as it was, he was only in their midst.
Daniel is using the original (prophetic) calendar that Moses wrote about in Genesis 7 and 8 which is in regard to the Great Flood of Noah's day. In the original calendar, one calendar year was equal to 360 days. The duration of Daniel 9:27 is for 7 calendar years of 360 days each for a total of 2520 days
The in the midst event of Daniel 9:27 is known as the Abomination of Desolation and is described in Daniel 12:11 and Revelation 13:14-15. Most Bible experts believe the A.O.D. will occur exactly 1260 days after the start of Jacob's Trouble. But what if instead, it begins 1,230 days after the start of the Tribulation? Isn't that also in the midst of 2,520 days?
Daniel 12:11 gives the duration of the last part (3.5 years) of the Tribulation, from the A.O.D. to the end of the 7 year Tribulation. "And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that makes desolate setup, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days" (Daniel 12:11). Have you ever wondered why Daniel 12:11 is for 1,290 days instead of 1,260 days? To get a better perspective on the number of days, consider the earlier words of Daniel:
"Then I Daniel looked, and behold, there stood two others (besides the angel messenger), the one on this side of the bank of the river, and the other on that side of the bank of the river. And one said to the man clothed in linen (Jesus), which was upon the waters of the river, How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and swore by him that lives forever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, and all these things shall be accomplished" (Daniel 12:5-7).
Later in Daniel 12:11, Jesus specifically informs Daniel of the exact amount of days that are in the term "time, times, and a half" (3.5 years)....exactly 1290 days. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that the first part of the prophecy is for 1230 days and the last part is for 1290 days. In other words, the Abomination of Desolation will occur in the midst of the 2520 days duration of the Tribulation, but not necessarily the exact middle.
There are two theories on the duration of the two parts of the Tribulation. Let us look at these as Theory 1 (1,260-1,260 days) and Theory 2 (1,230-1,290 days). Theory 1 starts 30 days before theory 2 does. Both theories have the same date for the in the midst event known as the Abomination of Desolation. Theory 1 ends 30 days earlier than Theory 2. Both theories agree that The Tribulation will last for 2,520 days.
Theory 1 is similar to Theory 2 in that they both believe that the Anti-Christ's total power over the Tribulation saints and the Jewish people will last for exactly 1,260 days or forty-two months (Revelation 13:5-7). Both theories believe that after the Abomination of Desolation, the remnant of Israel will flee into the wilderness of Jordan (Petra) where God will supernaturally protect them and sustain them for 1,260 days (Revelation 12:6).
Both theories agree that after the seals, trumpets, and vials judgments from God, Jesus Christ returns on a future Feast of Trumpets day at the battle of Armageddon. Daniel's 70th Seven ends there with theory 1 and does not really address Jesus fulfilling the 6th and 7th Feasts of the Lord. They occur after the Tribulation is officially over (7 years or 2520 days).
With Theory 2, the end of the Tribulation does not end with the battle of Armageddon, but rather 30 days later. This takes into account enough time for the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles to be fulfilled by Jesus after his return to the Earth on Trumpets/Rosh Hashanah. The Feast of Tabernacles lasts for eight days until Tishri 23rd. Seven days later the Millennium Kingdom of Jesus Christ will commence.
According to Daniel 9:24, the end of the 7-year Tribulation will not occur until six things happen: 1) to finish the transgression, 2) to make an end of sin, 3) to make reconciliation for iniquity, 4) to bring in everlasting righteousness, 5) to seal up the vision and prophecy, 6) to anoint the most Holy.
With Theory 1, there is no time for all of this to happen if the Tribulation is over when Jesus returns at Armageddon. With Theory 2, there is sufficient time for the before-mentioned six results to occur. Also, there will still be enough time for Jesus to fulfill the prophecies of Matthew 24:30-31 as well as Matthew 25:31-46.
In establishing timelines for both of these theories, there is only one hypothesis that must be met... the date that Jesus returns to the earth must be on a future Feast of Trumpets/Rosh Hashanah day. Most Bible eschatologists agree the date on the Hebrew calendar for the return of Jesus Christ (2nd Coming) to the earth, at the Battle of Armageddon, will occur on Rosh Hashanah (Tishri 1 on the Jewish calendar) in some future year. Throughout the history of the Hebrew people, trumpets always were sounded when a Jewish king entered into the battle arena. It will not be different this time as well, only the trumpets will be of a heavenly origin announcing the King of kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.
The 5th Feast of the Lord, known as Trumpets, is the next one in line to be fulfilled by Jesus; as the first four (Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Pentecost) were fulfilled by him in 33 BC. Pentecost was fulfilled by Jesus sending the Holy Spirit to his followers 50 days after His resurrection on Sivan 7 of the same year, thus starting the Church Age.
No one knows the day or the hour of the Rapture, and no one ever will until it happens. However, by studying the scriptures, we can recognize the signs and biblical prophecies that precede it and know when it is getting close. We can be the watchman on the wall warning the people of immediate danger that is approaching, by blowing the trumpet (proclaiming God's word).
"Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he sees the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet, and takes not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head" (Ezekiel 33:2-4).
The Rapture will precede the Tribulation. How much time elapses between these two God-ordained events is unknown. It could possibly be weeks, months, or even years. After the Rapture, the Anti-Christ will eventually come upon the scene to set up his wicked kingdom and will fulfill the prophecy of Daniel 9:27. He should be obvious to identify by two facts: 1) His name will numerically add up to the number 666 as per Revelation 13:18. 2) He will confirm the peace covenant with the many (ruling government of Israel) for a period of seven years.
In the midst of Jacob's Trouble, the Anti-Christ will perform his act of the "abomination of desolation" in the newly built 3rd Temple of the Lord in Jerusalem. He will also stop all the daily animal sacrifices that have been recently reinstated there. Many eschatologists suspect this will take place during the time of the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread when all male Jews of age are required to attend this historical and commemorative national event. 1260 days later, Jesus will return to the earth during the time of the 5th Feast of the Lord known as Trumpets, at the Battle of Armageddon.
If the Lord does return on a future Rosh Hashanah day, the time frame of the seven-years preceding it can now come into view. To begin the hypothetical dating process of the seven years of Jacob's Trouble you must travel in time to a future (a minimum of seven years from now) Feast of Trumpets day and work your way back to the past.
The earliest possible Feast of Trumpets date for the 2nd Coming of Jesus would be on Tishri 1, 5788 (October 1, 2027). 1260 days earlier, on Nisan 12, 5784 (April 19, 2024), the Abomination of Desolation occurs and the Anti-Christ acquires total control of world government. 1230 days earlier from the A.O.D., on Kislev 21, 5781 (December 6, 2020), the Tribulation period would officially start in this example. This date is only a little over a month from the 2020 presidential elections here in the United States.
If the Rapture happens sometime before the 2020 elections, I believe a Democrat will be elected into office as president of the United States. All the older conservatives (Republicans) will be raptured at a much higher rate than the liberal/progressive Democrats. This will leave the Democrats with a majority of voters. Most of the raptured believers will be older people and/or the very young (under the age of accountability). Those left behind will probably respond positively to the Anti-Christ's peace covenant with Israel that will occur soon after the Rapture.
Now let's go to a more likely timeline, as there will probably be more of a gap of time between the Rapture and the start of the Tribulation. A popular theory is that Jesus will return when the modern nation of Israel is 80 years old...in 2028. Of course, He will return on Rosh Hashanah. The date, in this case, would be on Tishri 1, 5789 on the Jewish calendar or September 20, 2028, on our modern Gregorian calendar. We must then count backward 1260 days (approximately 3.5 years or 42 months) to determine the in the midst point of the Tribulation, otherwise known as the Abomination of Desolation. This historic day would occur on Nisan 12, 5785 (April 9, 2025).
If you agree with theory 2 and believe that the beginning of the Tribulation takes place 1230 days earlier from the date of the Abomination of Desolation (instead of 1260 days), then the official starting date tales place on Kislev 24, 5782 on the Jewish calendar or November 27, 2021, on the Gregorian calendar. On the 25th day of the month of Kislev, the Jews celebrate the Feast of Hanukkah every year. Hanukkah commemorates the cleansing and rededication of the 2nd Temple of Jerusalem in 164 BC after the Jews won back control of Jerusalem from the occupying Syrian forces. On the day before the Feast of Hanukkah, the 24th day of Kislev, Israel has witnessed four major historical events regarding Jerusalem and/or the Holy Temple in Jerusalem:
1) The foundation of the 2nd Temple was laid in 520 BC (December 10, 520 BC).
2) The abolition of the Temple sacrifice by Antiochus in 167 BC (December 11, 167 BC).
3) The recapture of the Temple and the cleansing of the temple sanctuary in 164 BC. (December 8, 164 BC)
4) Jerusalem was freed from Turkish rule in 1917 (December 8, AD 1917).
What are the odds that the first day of the start of the Tribulation (when the Antichrist and the ruling government of Israel confirm a peace/trade covenant), might be on Kislev 24th of all days? Of course, odds don't really matter to God! This confirming of the covenant would allow the Jews to rebuild their holy temple in Jerusalem. Once the temple is built, the remainder of Daniel's prophecy can then become fulfilled.
As mentioned before, 1230 days later on Nisan 12, 5786 (April 9, 2025) the "in the midst" event, otherwise known as the Abomination of Desolation, will occur. The A.C. will do his dirty deed on or near the anniversary date of Nisan 10, (33 BC) when Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem on the back of a donkey as the true king of Israel. The Antichrist will emulate Jesus as being king of the Jews (and the entire world)...only he will try to claim his right to rule by force.
1260 days after the A.O.D., on Tishri 1, 5789 (September 20, 2028), Jesus will return to the earth at the Battle of Armageddon. This will ultimately fulfill the 5th Feast of the Lord known as Trumpets. The King of kings will have returned and the trumpets will be blowing for him. Jesus will have a greater victory even than the one He accomplished at Jericho approximately 3433 years earlier. After His great victory at Armageddon, He will fulfill the 6th and 7th Feasts of the Lord...Atonement and Tabernacles. Thus all seven Feasts of the Lord will have been accomplished and fulfilled by Jesus the son of God.
30 days after the last Feast of Trumpets, the Tribulation/Jacob's Trouble will have ended and the Millennium reign of Jesus Christ will begin. The date in this hypothetical example would be Heshvan 1, 5789 (October 20, 2028). 1290 days will have passed from the Abomination of Desolation (as mentioned in Daniel 12:11) to the end of the Great Tribulation and 2520 days will have passed from the start to the end of the seven-year Tribulation.
The 1000 year glorious reign of Jesus Christ as king of the earth will have begun. Hallelujah!
Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus.
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