We have spoken recently of the Great Tribulation announced by Jesus. This is described among all those things that would describe the coming of Jesus and the end of time. We have made some considerations that seem to prove to us the fact that these house arrests seem to correspond with the siege of Cestius Gallus, which represented the prelude to the final destruction of Jerusalem and therefore of false religion.
But how long should this great tribulation last? By browsing the net or researching the comments of some translations of Bibles you will find that some indicate the great tribulation as having a duration of seven years. Others say 3 1/2 years, which is the second half of this seven year period.
But where do these seven years come from? Of course it is biblical information as are all these prophecies related to the great tribulation and the times we live in.
We talk about these seven times for the first time in the prophetic book of Daniel in chapter 4. In this chapter we talk about King Nebuchadnezzar who has a dream. He dreams of a majestic tree that is cut and closed in stumps for seven times and his heart is changed into that of a beast. Daniel is the only dignitary capable of giving an interpretation to the dream. He explains to the king that he will lose the throne and act like a beast for seven years.
Things happen just as predicted and only after seven years Nebuchadnezzar comes to his senses and receives power again. We can easily interpret this period as a time when Babylon, the false religion that rules over the people of God, is left in the hands of the beast, the political power that rules the world. In fact, Babylon represents the cradle of false religion, while the beast that takes possession of Nebuchadnezzar is the power that decrees its destruction.
Babylon is also the nation within which God’s people are found. Power is returned to Nebuchadnezzar and in that situation he humbles himself and recognizes divine authority. In Daniel 4:34 he says: “And at the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to the heavens, and my own understanding returned; and I blessed the Most High Himself, and I praised and glorified the One who lives indefinitely, because his dominion is a dominion indefinitely and his kingdom is from generation to generation. ” So these seven times determine the end of the authority of false religion over the people of God. Note that after the seven times are over, Babylon is not destroyed but there is a sort of spiritual re-establishment that takes place with the recognition of divine authority. Babylon does not run away from judgment, however, and will be conquered in 539 B.C.E. by Ciro who will determine its end as a world power.
In the same way, therefore, even today, the seven times determine the end of the authority of false religions over the people of God, who in fact must go out to the mountains when they see the beast, that is, the disgusting thing, but the end of the beast will take place later. These are certainly times related to the great tribulation.
So for a time the beast is given authority. This is related to what we can read in Revelation 13: 5 where he says that he was given authority to act for 42 months. In verse 7 the Bible says that she is given the authority to act against the saints. But 42 months is three and a half years. Where did the other three and a half years go? The other 42 months are discussed in Revelation chapter 11, where the two witnesses or two saints are inserted. Of these two they are said to preach sackcloth for 42 months, after which the beast kills them. Sackcloth means in an emergency, under persecution, with suffering. But what are they talking about?
The beginning of chapter 11 of Revelation speaks of the measurement of the temple. We have repeatedly stated in this blog that the temple represents the cosmos. The preaching of the two witnesses therefore has to do with the description of the Earth. In recent years the issue of flat earth has come to the fore. Or am I wrong? I remember that the Bible clearly describes a flat Earth covered with a dome. In any case, the two witnesses are killed by the beast, that is, they are prevented from speaking in the congregation, but their death situation lasts only three and a half days. We will speak again about these two witnesses in the future.
Daniel also seems to speak of these two saints when in chapter 7 in verse 25 he expresses himself in this way: “25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.”
Daniel 8: 11-14 relates the two saints to the interruption of the continuous sacrifice: 11 It set itself up to be as great as the commander of the army of the Lord; it took away the daily sacrifice from the Lord, and his sanctuary was thrown down. 12 Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people[a] and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.
13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot of the Lord’s people?”
14 He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.”
This would lead us to conclude that the end of the continuous sacrifice occurs when the two witnesses are killed by the beast and from there begin 42 months of authority of the beast itself and a much longer period of purification of the people of God.
Another prophecy of Daniel that confirms that in the middle of the week there is the cessation of the continuous sacrifice is that of the seventy weeks that allows you to make a calculation of the moment of the Messiah’s coming. I reproduce below the verses from 24 until the end of chapter 9.
24 “Seventy ‘sevens’[a] are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish[b] transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.[c]
25 “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One,[d] the ruler,comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. 26 After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing.[e] The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. 27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’[f] In the middle of the ‘seven’[g] he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple[h] he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.[i]”[j]
As you can see, this messianic prophecy predicted that the sacrifice would cease in the middle of the last week. Scholars connect this last week with the seven times of Nebuchadnezzar’s prophecy. This past week would have three fulfillments.
One with the death of Jesus, which marks the end of the sacrifices, which are no longer accepted by God because the great sacrifice of Jesus puts an end to sin. Jesus is killed by the beast who during his presence suffers a mortal wound to his power and must therefore act to recover.
Another fulfillment follows after not many years with the siege of Cestius Gallus which puts an end to the daily sacrifice in Jerusalem and establishes the disgusting thing in the temple.
The third fulfillment is what we are experiencing, with house arrest that prevents us and will prevent us from bringing due worship to our God.
However, we understand up to here that the times we are living cannot last seven years because at least three and a half have already passed. We will go deeper into these seven-stroke fulfillments in the next article to try to be even more precise. Yr��#.