Understanding Prophecy Afresh using Daniel’s Last Seven Years
This teaching will change the way we think about end-time prophecies
We are confused. We know biblical prophecy, we claim. But it seems we can’t agree what scripture applies to what, where or when! We have some declaring with certainty that the horsemen of the Apocalypse are galloping full force, while others say the horsemen aren’t even on the saddle yet!
Hence we have so many contrary opinions from the timing of the Rapture to whether saints are to be persecuted.
Where exactly are we in end-time events and the return of Christ? Is there a biblical timeline that we can measure prophecy’s countdown and lay prophesied events in their chronological order so we can know what is to come?
Yes, there is such a timeline! It’s biblical. And, it’s in Daniel, Matthew and Revelation.
Then why haven’t we been taught this? Because the timeline the church presently bases the prophetic countdown on is flawed! The church places unnecessary prophetic importance on the state of Israel.
We have been taught that Jesus was referring to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 when He said, Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors (Matthew 24:32-33 KJV).
They say that the fig tree was always symbolic of Israel, and that once Israel became a state, the countdown had begun.
And we’ve believed that. Yet no one ever seems to go to Luke’s account of the Olivet Prophecy to find that Jesus was not referring to the state of Israel at all. Luke says, And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees… (Luke 21:29 KJV).
Notice He was not singling out Israel. He was referencing the fig tree and all trees! He was simply emphasizing the speed in which all these things shall come to pass (vs 34); adding that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled (Mat 24:34 KJV). And ever since 1948, we’ve had to extend the length of a biblical “generation” from 20 … to 40 … to 70 years (and we’ll likely go beyond that, should the Lord tarry).
So, we’ve been misled on this and a number of important prophecies. Yet the Lord has given us precise instruction that will define the generation that will see all these things come to pass! It’ll not be 70 years duration, it’ll not be 40, it’ll not be 20. It’ll be swift and catch many unawares.
The scriptures speak of a seven year timeline: it’s correct, it’s unchangeable — and it’s just that we either haven’t been taught it or the revelation hasn’t been understood until now (Daniel 12:9).
After reviewing the material found in this article, you will walk away with both a greater understanding of end time events (with a greater specificity that we’ve had before) and a deeper sense of God’s intelligent design in the scriptures, as we marvel the unfolding of the unbending timeline from the old and new testaments.
Line upon line, here a little, there a little is the bible-prescribed method of studying scripture (Isaiah 28:9-10).
Let’s now lay down our scriptures that support this timeline!
The book of Daniel is the most important book of the Old Testament, whose prophecies catapult the reader to its fulfillment in the days we’re living in now.
God gave the 70 Week prophesy to Daniel as a timeline to denote the timing of the appearance and crucifixion of their Messiah, Jesus Christ, and, beyond, until the appearance and death of the end-time antichrist.
For review, here are some bullet points to consider about the 70 week prophecy (Daniel 9:25-27):
- God determined 70 weeks to fulfill His plan for the restoration of Jerusalem and His coming Kingdom;
- The 70 weeks, using the day for a year principle (Ezekiel 4:6), prophetically become 490 years;
- The first 69 weeks (or 483 years) precisely pinpoint the timeframe beginning with the pronouncement to rebuild the city of Jerusalem (445 BC) until the crucifixion of the Messiah (32 AD) (as converted to the Western calendar and adjusted for leap years);
- The last week of seven years duration has been held in suspension, by God’s discretion, until an appointed time yet in our future, evidently in our lifetimes;
- That last week of seven years begins with the appearance of the antichrist and ends with the appearance of the Messiah.
SEVEN YEARS ON WHEELS
The beauty of this last seven years is that the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, can place this uninterrupted period of seven years anywhere He wishes on the world’s calendar. God, and only God, can determine when is the best time to initiate this crucial, last seven years of the world’s system, and the beginning of His Kingdom reign on earth.
Since God requires our participation in His work on the earth, this gives Him flexibility to delay things for the preparation of His people and the end-time harvesting of souls.
Hence, it’s seven years on wheels, so to speak: It’s calendar adjustable! It’s not fixed to a prophetic starting date – it’s fixed to an event! It’s not something that will occur without notice – the world will see it on the news. And that event can occur at any time, but only at the discretion of the Lord (Matthew 24:36).
Therefore, what is important to note is that this seven year period – just ahead of us now! – will encompass the fulfillment of the major, end-time prophesied events from the Bible!
Using this key, we can begin to see how New Testament prophecies fit into this timeline of seven years, opening up to us a wealth of understanding!
RISE OF ANTICHRIST
If this seven years can happen at anytime, then how do we know when it begins? God’s word tells us in the last line of Daniel’s 70 Week Prophecy:
And he (the antichrist) 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 KJV).
Here it’s telling us that someone, who will later become the antichrist, will confirm the covenant. Other translations say will enforce a covenant (Holman Christian Standard Bible) or strengthen a covenant (Young’s Literal Translation).
Thus we see that one will come on the scene confirming, enforcing, or strengthening a covenant (apparently, an already “established” covenant! – since you can’t enforce or strengthen a covenant that wasn’t there before!).
Another clue is that the covenant must be pertaining to Jerusalem — since the entire 70 Week Prophecy has to do with Jerusalem! (Daniel 9:2).
Here we see the beginning of the last seven years! It begins when someone arises to enforce or strengthen a covenant in Jerusalem!
But what covenant?
SEVEN YEAR PEACE TREATY – NOT!
Many people believe that the antichrist confirms a peace treaty in the Middle East. But we know of no Bible translation that adds the word peace to this scripture.
Rather, the answer is contained within the scripture itself. Notice, the conformity of the two clauses in the phrase, inferring that the antichrist confirms a covenant, on the one hand, and then breaks it, by ending the sacrifices and oblations. In fact, as we know from other scriptures, what begins as a call to worship God, suddenly, when the ‘man of sin’ is revealed midpoint (2 Thessalonians 2:3), morphs into a demand to worship antichrist (Revelation 13:8).
Therefore the covenant that the antichrist confirms, or enforces, can only be the reestablishment of the Mosaic/Levitical Covenant – complete with temple worship and animal sacrifices on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
We have a tendency to believe that the antichrist is going to forcibly impose his authority upon Israel against its will. Perhaps it’s a result of recent teachings that the antichrist will be Islamic. But no, Israel will welcome the false messiah, and he will be one of their own. Jesus said of the Jews, I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive (John 5:43 KJV).
The Jews are, after all, still awaiting their Messiah, One who will establish the greatness of Israel’s national identity and defeat their foes (Acts 1:6, Psalms 110:1-7). [We will see how that mindset fits in with biblical prophecy later in this teaching].
Not understanding this point leads many to assume political leaders, who carry the attributes of antichrist, such as Barack Obama, could be the antichrist. But after Obama had abused Israel and its PM Benjamin Netanyahu, could you imagine that Israel would one day wake up and believe that Obama will confirm the covenant to begin temple worship in Jerusalem again? Not likely at all.
But getting back to the scripture, you’ll also notice that the scripture says the covenant lasts but “one week” – that’s the prophesied last seven years of this worldly age before the return of Christ. This doesn’t mean that the covenant was drawn up as a seven-year covenant: God is merely telling us that it will only last seven years, as fulfillment of Daniel’s Last Week.
SEALS ARE NOT MEANT TO BE BROKEN
Now that we’ve established the foundation for this teaching, we can begin to show the correlation between Daniel’s Last Seven Years and the end-time prophecies in the New Testament. We will show how the seals in the book of Revelation and Jesus’ Olivet Prophecy correspond to the timeframe of seven years.
We’ve already established the precise action by the antichrist which will start the seven year countdown. Now let’s review the chronology of the Seven Seals of Revelation (Revelation 6 to 10):
- The first four seals are the four horsemen of the Apocalypse: and can be broken down as false christs, war, famine and disease epidemics;
- The fifth seal is the Great Tribulation;
- The sixth seal is the signs in the sun, moon, stars;
- The seventh seal is the Day of the Lord (Christ’s return), which is composed of Seven Trumpets, the seventh of which is composed of Seven Bowl Judgments.
After reading the next set of bullet points, please reread them again. It’s very important to keep these points in mind as a foundation to fully understand what is to follow:
- Each seal is closed until an appointed time;
- Only Jesus was deemed worthy to open the seals;
- Jesus opens one seal at a time;
- That means the seals are released chronologically;
- That means the seals cannot be moved or switched about from their precise chronology to fit a preconceived prophetic theory;
- Notice that The Great Tribulation is not the same as the Day of the Lord. They are separated by the sixth seal, which is the signs in the sun, moon and stars. [Not understanding that there’s a difference between the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord is the major cause for so much confusion in the body of Christ, leading many into various interpretations for Christ’s return. More about this later on in this teaching.]
THE FIRST SEAL – the Antichrist
John the aged Apostle was invited to see, in a heavenly vision, the sequential opening of the seven seals of an end-times, prophetic scroll. Jesus the Revelator peels open the first seal:
And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer (Revelation 6:1-2 KJV).
We should notice, first off, that the rise of the final antichrist cannot occur until Jesus removes the seal! That means there is an appointed time, yet to come, for antichrist to arise – despite satan’s best plans to accelerate the time and despite the many pseudo antichrists that have appeared over the millennia (1 John 2:18).
As soon as Jesus opens the seal, that’s when events unfold on the earth fulfilling the prophetic seal. It is our contention that this first seal will initiate Daniel’s Last Seven Years.
The antichrist is pictured here as the one riding the White Horse. He is the counterfeit Messiah, so he comes on a White Horse – which is why Jesus was so adamant about His followers not being deceived by false christs – since the counterfeit would be so convincing! (Matthew 24:4-5).
The counterfeit also comes complete with bow and crown, and begins conquering!
Both Strong’s and Thayer’s concordances indicate that the word conquering means to carry off the victory, or come off victorious. If he is the counterfeit Messiah, then he will be routing out Israel’s enemies and be declared by acclamation a hero to both Israel and, later, the world.
But how does antichrist’s conquering relate to Daniel’s prophecy of a covenant? We read in Daniel that the antichrist will confirm a covenant. Yet, how would someone reaffirming the Levitical covenant of temple worship cause an outbreak of conquering others? And, secondly, isn’t the antichrist going to come as a man of peace?
This is easy to answer if one has a grasp of current Middle East politics and news. Have you noticed that Jerusalem, and specifically the Temple Mount, is the most hotly contested parcel of land on the planet? What do you suppose would happen if Israel decided to begin animal sacrifices on the Temple Mount? If you understand the political climate of the Middle East, this act will enflame the entire Muslim world.
Recent news items [see here] already reveal that Iran is conducting war games in the event that they are compelled to fight Israel in order to capture the Al Aqsa Mosque — which is on the Temple Mount! The events surrounding the prophesied last days are already falling into place.
Many think that the antichrist will come as a man of peace, because they have mistakenly assumed that he initiates a “seven year peace treaty.” But no, he is a man of war, as evidenced in Revelation 13:4, And they worshipped the dragon (satan) which gave power unto the beast (antichrist): and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
Any Jewish leader who lays claim on the Temple Mount will have to have raw nerves of steel, knowing what a Pandora’s box of violence it will unleash on the region. Therefore, when Arab neighbors attempt to squash the covenant with attacks on Jerusalem but instead get routed up easily enough by Israel’s military (as Israel has done in the past!), how quickly will this Jewish leader be heralded as a conquering hero? (Daniel 11:40-45).
Hence we will see the antichrist appearing on the world’s scene conquering Israel’s enemies. And MANY in the world will be deceived and support him for finally bringing retribution to the evil that Islamic terrorists have been committing throughout the world for decades.
THE OLIVET FIRST SEAL
In this study we are attempting to connect various biblical passages to show that the prophetic end-times is comprised of seven years – or Daniel’s Last Seven Years. We have seen that Jesus is the Revelator who opens the seals in the book of Revelation, therefore it is not surprising that Jesus also revealed the seals privately to His disciples while He was on the earth.
The Olivet Prophecy in Matthew 24, Mark 13 & Luke 21 parallel the Seals of Revelation. You’ll recall that the disciples came to Jesus on the Mount of Olives privately to ask, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? (Matthew 24:3).
Jesus’ entire remarks refer to the seven seals: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Great Tribulation, the signs of the sun, moon and stars and the Day of the Lord.
His first sign for them to look for is this: Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many (Matthew 24:4-5 KJV).
Notice, this is a warning against the antichrist/false messiah! This is the same principle as the first seal in Revelation, yet you’ll notice it’s in the plural. Seeing that there would be many antichrists throughout the millennia until His return (1 John 2:18), Christ enlarged the scope of this seal to protect His flock from the many antichrists that could mislead and deceive His people through the ages. YET, the principle is the same — there will still be the final antichrist to come on the scene that will begin the seven year cycle ONCE the Lord breaks open the first seal of Revelation in the spirit, and once the antichrist affirms the covenant in the natural!
DANIEL’S TWO ACTIONS OF ANTICHRIST
Thus we have the correlation of the first action of antichrist in three portions of scripture: 1) Daniel’s 70 Weeks prophecy, 2) Revelation’s first seal and 3) Jesus’ first sign in the Olivet Prophecy.
Now, let us show the correlation of the second action of antichrist from Daniel, and we’ll see how all three portions of scripture again agree. Once we’ve established this, we can more easily see that Jesus’ Olivet prophecy and Revelation’s seven seals are a period of seven years, which have nothing to do with the establishment of the state of Israel, and all to do with Daniel’s seven years, beginning and ending with antichrist.
Thus, it is a duration of seven years that Jesus was referring when He said “this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled” (Matthew 24:34).
We know that the seven years begins when antichrist confirms a covenant for one week – seven years! Then three and a half years later, the antichrist breaks the covenant and causes the temple sacrifices to cease. As we shall learn from related scriptures, the antichrist at this time sets himself up as god to be worshipped – right at the midpoint of the seven years!
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 KJV).
The New Living Translation says it this way: And as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him.
Jesus confirms what Daniel says in the Olivet Prophecy, emphasizing the perilous times these will be:
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be (Matthew 24:15-21 KJV)
Daniel affirms that after three and a half years antichrist will set up an object of worship in the temple. Jesus says that when that object – that “abomination of desolation” – is set up, this will be the beginning of the Great Tribulation.
The Apostle Paul tells us that the antichrist at this time will oppose and exalt himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God (2 Thessalonians 2:4).
At that time, many will be killed who refuse to worship the antichrist. Therefore Jesus tells His people to flee from the surrounding area, and for good reason – the fifth seal of Revelation also confirms this a time of martyrdom of God’s saints: And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held (Rev 6:9 KJV) and These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:14).
If Jesus does not intervene to stop antichrist and cut those days short, Satan through antichrist would have killed everyone in the world.
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened (Matthew 24:21-22 KJV).
Daniel 12:1 confirms that this is the worst time of trouble the world has ever known: And at that time shall Michael (the archangel) stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book (Daniel 12:1).
THE GREAT TRIBULATION LASTS 3 ½ YEARS
While there are many who claim that the Tribulation lasts a period of seven years, technically and truthfully The Great Tribulation lasts only three and a half years.
Understanding this fact allows all the pieces of bible prophesy to fall into place, and once again we will see the exact correlation among the three areas of biblical prophecy we are examining.
Antichrist’s reign is 3 ½ years
Daniel already told us that antichrist’s reign is three and a half years, from the time he enters the temple as god. Revelation confirms this: The beast (antichrist) was given a mouth speaking proud words and blasphemies, and he was permitted to exercise ruling authority for forty-two months (Rev 13:5 NET).
Persecution of the saints lasts 3 ½ years
Jesus tells His followers to flee from persecution (Matthew 24:16). Some will be persecuted, others will be protected: But the woman was given the two wings of a giant eagle so that she could fly out into the wilderness, to the place God prepared for her, where she is taken care of — away from the presence of the serpent — for a time, times, and half a time (Rev 12:14 NET). [A time is a year; thus a time (one year), two times (two more years) and a half a time (six months) is three and a half years. Scriptures show that some Christians are martyred, others are not. Each gives glory to God either way.]
The Two Witnesses prophesy for 3 ½ years
And I will grant my two witnesses authority to prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth. (These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth.) If anyone wants to harm them, fire comes out of their mouths and completely consumes their enemies. If anyone wants to harm them, they must be killed this way (Rev 11:3-5 NET).
[Notice: at the same time that antichrist goes after God’s people, these two witnesses are smack-dab in the middle of Jerusalem, prophesying and declaring the truth of God in defiance of the antichrist. So furious would antichrist be against these two servants of God that he would actively try to kill them; but, alas, God protects them supernaturally and they cannot be harmed.]
IT ALL ADDS UP TO DANIEL’S LAST SEVEN YEARS
Notice the chart below and we can see how the two actions of antichrist align themselves with key prophecies in the New Testament. There is a symmetry of events, which again speaks of the fulfillment of end-time prophecies in a seven year time span, from the arrival of antichrist to the arrival of the true Messiah!
Jesus speaks of the first three and a half years between the antichrist affirming and then breaking the covenant as the beginning of sorrows or birth pangs in Matthew 24:8. That includes the effects of war, famine, disease that the other three horsemen bring – all of which precede the three and a half years of the Great Tribulation.
The Great Tribulation is not the wrath of God, neither is it the return of Jesus. The wrath of God and His return is the Day of the Lord. Notice, both seals (five and seven) are separated by the sixth seal (signs in the sun, moon and stars). They are not the same. And it is this stubborn teaching that suggests that they are both the same that has brought about so much confusion in the body of Christ.
In essence, the Great Tribulation is satan’s wrath against God’s people and all mankind (Revelation 12:12). It becomes so severe that Jesus Himself says He has to cut short those days lest no one be saved alive. Read what He says:
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened (Matthew 24:21-22 KJV).
Jesus says for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened signifying that the elect of God are still on the earth, not having been raptured yet. That certainly throws a monkey wretch into the eschatology taught by many today!
For a more detailed explanation of the Great Tribulation / the Day of the Lord / the Rapture, please see our video here:
You will also notice in the chart above that the Day of the Lord does not fall within Daniel’s Last Seven Years, but after it. That is because the Day of the Lord is actually when Jesus returns, punishing and removing sinful humanity; bringing to an end the kingdoms of mankind; and establishing the Kingdom of God upon the earth.
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this teaching. We have shown how Daniel’s last seven years fits in with Jesus’ own words both in Matthew and in Revelation. This timeline will help us understand the days to come in a more precise manner than before. That timeline begins when one comes who will confirm a covenant in Jerusalem. Upon that action, most of the rest of biblical prophecies fall.
This should help us avoid the constant refrain we hear so often: ‘The countdown has already begun!” or the “Red Horse of war has already begun riding.”
Actually, it can be said the countdown began since Christ’s advent into heaven, but we need to understand something. While wars and poverty and false christs have been with us for millennia, the end-time seven years has not yet begun! It is therefore possible that we are several decades away from Christ’s return.
Daniel’s last seven years only begins when antichrist confirms a covenant in Israel. Then there will be an uninterrupted march of seven years of fulfilled prophecies that cannot be prayed away.
So, please don’t get carried away, with every news event, purportedly fulfilling the end times. Of course, things are leading up to Christ’s return. But the ultimate news event to watch is the antichrist affirming a covenant in Israel to reestablish temple worship.
Until that happens, we are free to pursue all that the Lord has destined for our lives! Don’t let the fear of end-time events short circuit your drive, calling and destiny.
As we said before, Daniel’s Last Seven Years is not fixed in scripture to a certain date, and can only begin when the first seal is opened! God is the only One who will determine when that begins. Until that time happens, we can and should be praying on behalf of the nation. We should pray that America repents, that it turns back to God, that God have mercy on us all, that the waves of satanic legislation coming from Washington be rescinded, that Christians the world over be protected, and that life from the womb to old age is protected.
Now is not the time to give up hope and recede into apathy and ineffectiveness. Jesus commands His followers to occupy till I come! (Luke 19:13). Now, more than any other time before, is when we ought to be excelling in the fruits and gifts of the Holy Spirit and fulfill the very destiny that God has called us to achieve. God has allowed us to be living at a most pivotal time in all creation. Therefore God has a purpose for our lives, to do something challenging and rewarding – to literally do exploits! (Daniel 11:32 ). Now is the time to become ever more vigilant in defending truth and exposing evil. Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet and show My people their sins and the House of Jacob their transgression (Isaiah 58:1).
We are to maintain our positions on the wall, even in battling ominous threats coming upon the earth; even in engaging the enemy who would seek to bring the nation to its knees before its time. Should a movement come afoot to keep a president in office through martial law, so long as that antichrist has not confirmed the covenant in Israel, I’m praying against it!
The whole point of this teaching is to show that Daniel’s last seven years have not yet begun! Therefore, let us do all we can in God’s power to defend truth and righteousness and carry out all that God has commissioned us.
Once Daniel’s last seven years begins, then there is no way to pray for anymore delays. Everything prophesied will occur rapidly, though you could still pray for individual and family safety and salvation during the great tribulation. But until that happens, we must continue being the stewards of God upon the earth, proclaiming God’s truth and revelations, and carrying out exploits with the power of the Holy Spirit to a hurt and dying world. The harvest now is bigger than ever before and that should be our paramount aim.