Sodom and Gomorrah

Appendix 3: Daniel's 70 Weeks and the Pre-Tribulation Rapture

The whole area of the Cities of the Plain had originally been beautifully fertile land, but God had judged the whole region, so that the Dead Sea area is now not just the lowest place on earth, but the deadest part of the earth - a unique place to visit, because of this Judgement. The Dead Sea was formed at this time, caused by the sinking of the whole Valley, so that although the water of the Jordan flows into the Dead Sea, no water can flow out of it, making it a perfect picture of death (it can only escape by evaporation). So the whole area of the Dead Sea is a scene of great Judgement. 

In line with this theme, we should mention the mountain-fortress of Masada, standing above Gomorrah, which was also a place of Judgment many years later, for in AD 73, at the end of the 7 year Jewish War against Rome (66 - 73 AD), the last Jewish resistance was destroyed. They consisted of 1,000 people, who had taken a stand on Masada. The Romans built a massive ramp up the side of the mountain, on which their siege towers could attack the walls on top of Masada. Once defeat was inevitable, the Jews committed mass suicide rather than lose their freedom and become slaves. Masada fell at Passover AD 73, exactly 40 years after the Passover of AD 33, when the Messiah, Jesus Christ was crucified. This was no coincidence. Since Israel, at that time, had rejected Jesus as their Messiah, Jesus Himself warned them that as a result of this, the 

Romans would bring great destruction on Jerusalem and the nation, and they would be scattered to the nations until the end of the age (Luke 21:20-24). This was completed with the fall of Masada.

This was in line with the earlier Prophecy of Daniel’s 70 Weeks (Sevens) in Daniel 9:24-27: “Seventy (70) ‘Sevens’ or ‘Weeks’ (that is: 490 years) are determined for your people (Israel) and for your holy City (Jerusalem), to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity (fulfilled by the Cross in AD 33) to bring in everlasting (or: ‘the Age of’) righteousness, to seal up (fulfil) vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy (to be fulfilled at the 2nd Coming)” (v24).

Daniel 9:25: “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem (Nisan 1st, April 3rd, 458 BC, see Ezra 7) until (the Coming and Presentation of) Messiah the Prince, there shall be 7 ‘sevens’ or ‘weeks’ (49 years) and 62 ‘sevens’ or ‘weeks’ (434 years). The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.” This predicts the Messiah will be presented after 69 ‘sevens’ or ‘weeks’, that is 483 years from 458 BC, that is in AD 26, which is when John the Baptist started to proclaim His Coming. 

Daniel 9:26: “And AFTER the 69 ‘Sevens’ or ‘Weeks’ the Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself (or: ‘He shall have nothing, His Kingdom unrealised’) and the people of the prince 

who is to come (the Romans) shall destroy the City (Jerusalem) and the Sanctuary (the Temple). The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined.”
This was all fulfilled in the Jewish War of 66 AD to 73 AD. 


Daniel 9:27 (the future Tribulation): “Then he (the antichrist) shall confirm a covenant with many for one week (of 7 years), but in the middle of the week (after 3.5 years) he (the antichrist) shall bring an end to Sacrifice and Offering (in the Rebuilt Temple). And he shall set up on the wing of the Temple, the Abomination that causes desolation, even until the end which is determined, is poured out upon him (his final Judgement at Christ’s Return).”

In Daniel 9:25, the Messiah comes at the end of 69 Weeks (483 years) from the Ezra Decree in 458 BC, but instead of establishing His Kingdom at the end of the 70 Weeks (490 years), the Kingdom is postponed, and instead Judgement comes upon Israel. The Presentation of Messiah to Israel started right on time (at the start of the 70th Week), with the Ministry of John the Baptist (26 AD), lasting for 3.5 years until the Baptism of Jesus in AD 29. Then Jesus’ Ministry of 3.5 years completed the 70th Week, with His Death and Resurrection in AD 33, providing an initial exact fulfilment of the 70th Week. At this point, He had been ready to establish the Kingdom (v24), but Israel was not yet ready to receive Him, so the Mystery (Church Age) was introduced for 2000 years.

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Click here for chart

The Church is called a Mystery, because it had been hidden in God from eternity and was not revealed in the Old-Testament. Only when Israel’s rejection of Christ was clear did God start to introduce the Mystery, a major theme of the New Testament. God introduced the Mystery-Age after the Death and Resurrection of Christ. The authority and anointing of being God’s representatives shifted from Israel to Church for the duration of the Church-Age, however God will ultimately restore Israel and fulfil all His covenants and promises to her (Romans 9-11). The Church-Age will end with the Rapture of the Church (1Corinthians 15:50-58, 1Thessalonians 4:13-18), after which God will complete His dealings with Israel, bringing her to repentance and full restoration.

Meanwhile (during the Church-Age), Israel came under a temporary Judgement for rejecting her Messiah, which included the destruction of Jerusalem and being scattered to the nations for 1900 years. Her Rebirth as a Nation in her Land in 1948 and the Jerusalem’s recapture are signs we are near the end of the Church-Age. God is getting Israel in position, ready for His final dealings.

Moreover, Israel’s rejection of her Messiah-King created a deeper problem as far as the fulfilment of the 70 Weeks was concerned. In Daniel 9:24, God had allotted 490 years to Israel (on her Clock), by the end of which the Messiah would provide the final Atonement for sin and establish His earthly Kingdom of righteousness. But now

(in AD 33) that time was up, and although the ultimate Atonement had been made, the Messianic Kingdom was still not established. 

The fact of verses 26,27 being added to the Prophecy shows God had anticipated this development, for He used these to clarify how the 70 Weeks would still be fulfilled. The interesting thing is that, as far as God is concerned, despite the 2,000 year delay in establishing the Kingdom (caused by Israel’s rejection), the original Prophecy in v24 of 490 years before the Messianic Kingdom is established still stands! This can only be because these years are counted by God on Israel’s Clock. Notice v24 specifically says: “70 Weeks (490 years) are determined for your people (Israel).” 

Now there are two things that God must have done on Israel’s Clock. First of all, when Israel rejected Him, He must have STOPPED her Clock, because Israel were now (temporarily) cut off from the place of God’s favour as His representatives. At this time, He introduced the Church, and so measured time by the Church Clock instead. Secondly, God REWOUND the Israel-Clock by 7 years. Since Israel had rejected the 7-year Ministry of Grace of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ, God cancelled them in order to rerun them as the 7 years of the Tribulation (giving them a 2nd chance, just as they had a 2nd chance to possess the Promised Land 40 years later). Therefore, Israel still has 7 years to run on her Clock, according to Daniel’s 70 Weeks. These final 7 years are described in v27. When the Church is removed in the Rapture, God will return to Israel to be His anointed representatives, as shown by the sealing of the 144,000 Evangelists from the 12 Tribes of ISRAEL in Revelation 7, to lead the evangelism of the Tribulation. This means the ‘Israel-Clock’ will start ticking again after the Rapture to complete the the last 7 years of the 490 years.

The 7 years of Grace to Israel (the 70th Week) were cancelled in order to be rerun as the 7 years of Tribulation under the antichrist, that will run after the Church-Age (v27), during which Israel will repent and return to her Messiah, and at the end of which is the Second Coming of Christ, returning to save Israel at the Battle of Armageddon. Thus, at the end of the rerun of the 70th Week, the Kingdom will be established on earth in fulfilment of v24. 

Interestingly, v26 describes a more immediate Judgement upon Israel (the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple), that also took place over a 7 year period, the time of the Jewish War with Rome (AD 66-73), which was foreshadowing of the 7 year Tribulation. Thus the initial Judgement for their 7-year rejection of Christ was the 7-years (AD 66-73) under the Romans. These 7 years were exactly 40 years after the Time of Messiah (AD 26-33), ending with their complete defeat with the fall of Masada, 40 years, to the day, after the Cross in AD 33. After Israel is restored to her land near the close of the Church-Age, according to v27, there must also be a final 7-year time of Judgement (the Tribulation), see chart below:

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According to Daniel 9:24, there are 70 Weeks (490 years) on Israel’s Clock after which the Messianic Kingdom is to be established. The last 7 years (the 70th Week) are yet to run (again) as the future Tribulation. 

The Church-Age is something quite distinct from this, and cannot be included on Israel’s Clock (if Daniel’s 70 Weeks are to be fulfilled). The Church-Age started at the Resurrection when God stopped the Clock on Israel. When the Church is removed in the Rapture, God will turn back to Israel and restart her Clock, and her last 7 years will run, until the 70th Week is fulfilled at the Return of Christ. Thus the fulfilment of Daniel’s 70 Weeks implies a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. This is confirmed by the absence of the Church in all descriptions of the Tribulation (e.g. Revelation 6-18).

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