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The Revelation - A Book With 7 Seals ? / Ewald Frank

24. Appendix - The 70 weeks of Daniel and the current events with Israel in the light of Bible prophecy

Obsah
  1. Foreword
  2. Chapter 1 - Introduction, The Day of the Lord, Origin and significance of the prophetic word
  3. Chapter 2 - The seven messages of the resurrected Lord, First message, Keep the first love
  4. Chapter 3 - The fifth message, The Reformation Age, Strengthening the weak in faith
  5. Chapter 4 - A glimpse into heaven
  6. Chapter 5 - The mysterious book with the seven seals
  7. Chapter 6 - The opening of the seals, The unveiling of the power of the antichrist, A general view
  8. Chapter 7 - The sealed from the Jews
  9. Chapter 8 - The seventh seal, The silence in heaven, Mercy seat becomes judgement seat, Introduction to the seven trumpet judgements, The first four trumpets
  10. Chapter 9 - The incomparable torment, The fifth trumpet the first woe
  11. Chapter 10 - An intermediate vision The open book, The Lord as the Angel of the covenant
  12. Chapter 11 - The second intermediate vision, The measuring of the temple and the ministry of the two witnesses
  13. Chapter 12 - The woman clothed with the sun, Christ and His Own, Satan the red dragon and his followers
  14. Chapter 13 - The visions of Daniel in review of and in connection with the Revelation
  15. Chapter 14 - The Lamb and the sealed 144,000
  16. Chapter 15 - The seven bowl judgements and the multitude at the crystal sea
  17. Chapter 16 - The seven bowls of wrath, The final judgements of Gods indignation
  18. Chapter 17 - The woman riding on the beast
  19. Chapter 18 - The destruction of the great Babylon
  20. Chapter 19 - The rejoicing in heaven over the destruction of Babylon, The marriage of the Lamb
  21. Chapter 20 - Binding of Satan, Completion of the first resurrection by the martyrs, The Millennial Kingdom
  22. Chapter 21 - Announcing of the new heaven and the new earth, The glory of the New Jerusalem, The terrible fate of the lost
  23. Chapter 22 - The river of life and the trees of life, The paradise-like condition during the Millennial Reign
  24. Appendix - The 70 weeks of Daniel and the current events with Israel in the light of Bible prophecy



The present happenings in the Middle East have once again drawn the attention of Bible teachers to the Book of Daniel. The vision relating to the 70 weeks is especially suitable for placing the events occurring in the focal point of world history - in Israel - in accordance with Bible prophecy. It is necessary to consider both, what happened in the course of history and what is occurring at present, in order to understand how matters will wind up in the immediate future. The Book of Daniel is the "Apocalypse" of the Old Testament. Therein all concerning Israel right to the end of this civilisation is unveiled.

At that time the Prophet Daniel was in the Babylonian captivity together with his people. In searching the writings of the Prophet Jeremiah (25: 11; 29: 10), to obtain understanding concerning the end of the 70 years of their captivity (Dan. 9: 2), he prayed with all his heart to God and made intercession for Israel. After his long prayer of repentance and supplication he received the answer from God. This answer, however, did not concern the captivity, but rather pertained to future events involving Israel, right up to the coming of the Messiah and to the very end of the last dispensation.

"At the beginning of thy supplications, the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved. Therefore, understand the matter, and consider the vision.

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city …" (Dan. 9: 23-24a).

About two years later the captivity ended, and the Jews received permission from the Persian king Cyrus to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 1: 1-3). The city and the walls were erected about 100 years later under Nehemiah. According to the words of the angel, Gabriel, this was the beginning of the "seventy weeks of years". We know the week of seven days, but God in prophecy utilises the terminology of "weeks of years".

Altogether we are dealing with seventy such "weeks of years". The purpose is sixfold; as the following text will sufficiently show:

1. "… to finish the transgression,

2. and to make an end of sins,

3. and to make reconciliation for iniquity,

4. and to bring in everlasting righteousness,

5. and to seal up the vision and prophecy,

6. and to anoint the most Holy. "

"Know, therefore, and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah, the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself; and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary, and the end of it shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

And he (the prince) shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week he (the prince) 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." (Dan. 9: 24b-27).

Those who know both, the prophetic scripture and history, have shown the course of time from the commission to rebuild Jerusalem (Neh. 2) until Christ, the Messiah. The three measurements of time, 7, 62 and 1 "week of years" apply to Israel. The time span of the day of grace and salvation for the nations (Ps. 118: 24; Isa. 49: 8; 2 Cor. 6: 2; Heb. 4: 7) lies between the 69th and the 70th week.

The teaching that Jesus Christ fulfilled the first part of the seventieth week does not comply with the Bible. Also in this point we must clearly ask: What does the Scripture say? The Scripture pertaining to this subject says, that there are only three measurements of time. In the Book of Daniel we read about 7, 62 and 1 week. The Scripture further declares that the Anointed One, the Messiah, would be cut off after the 62nd week, not after 62 and 1/2 weeks. Thus saith the Lord in His Word, "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off …" (v. 26)!

There is not a single scripture which states that our Lord preached for three and a half years or made a covenant for seven years that He broke in the middle. According to the rules laid down by Moses, the ministers in the sanctuary began to serve God being 30 years of age (Num. 4: 1-3). Precisely in His 30th year, according to Lk. 3: 23, the Son of man began His ministry.

How can Christ and the antichrist be exchanged and the same verse applied to both of them? Which covenant has Christ made and broken, if the first three and a half years should apply to Him? He neither had a covenant with Rome, which He could have broken, nor did He have any with Israel. On the contrary: He established the New Covenant by the blood of the covenant (Mt. 26: 26-28 a. o.), and the New Covenant is an eternal one. Think of it! Is it not blasphemous to use the same Bible verse for both, Christ and the antichrist?

The Lord also did not do away with the different sacrifices. Everything in the temple continued until the year 70 A.D. Dan. 9: 27 absolutely does not refer to Christ at all, but totally to the antichrist. Even a hundred contrary quotes cannot annul one verse of God's Word. Whoever is of God will say yes to His Word and then see the connection thereafter. Whether the ministry of Jesus Christ was three or three and a half years is not important, but it is essential to know that His total ministry fell into the time space at the end of the 62nd week. That is thus saith the lord in His Word.

For Israel remain the first 3 1/2 years as time of grace under the ministry of the two witnesses. "And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." (Rev. 11: 3). During their ministry the temple will be rebuilt.

The Jews expect their Messiah to come to the temple, for it is written, "… and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the Angel of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts." (Mal. 3: 1b). According to their understanding, the Messiah is a special man, like a prince (Ezek. 46), from the tribe of David (2 Sam. 7 a. o.). Therefore they will fall for the adversary who acts like a prince at special occasions with his reigning sceptre when he appears in public. The Jews know what was promised in reference to the Messiah, namely that He should reign with His sceptre from Zion which is the Temple Mountain in Jerusalem, "The Lord shall send the rod (sceptre) of thy strength out of Zion; rule thou in the midst of thine enemies." (Ps. 110: 2).

As the Bible clearly states, the Messiah has a heavenly and a humanly origin. In Mt. 1 and Lk. 3 we find the human origin, "… the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David …" In Jn. 1 we are told about His heavenly origin. The Word which was God Himself became man. In the Old Testament we find the description of the two realms, in the New Testament we do have the fulfilment and the confirmation thereof. In Rom. 1: 3 we read about Jesus Christ, our Lord, "… who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh." In Rom. 9: 5, we are informed about His earthly origin from the fathers and His heavenly pointing to God, "… and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen." In 1 Cor. 15: 47 we are told that Christ is "the Lord from heaven". The reference in Malachi describes Him as the Angel of the covenant, as is confirmed in Revelation 10. See also Acts 7: 38.

In the Books of Nehemiah and Daniel we find no mention about the building of the temple, but rather are informed about the rebuilding of Jerusalem with walls and streets. This decree was given in the year 445 B.C. by Artaxerxes. Since then until the death of the Messiah should be 7 weeks which equal 49 years, and 62 weeks which equal 434 years, and make altogether 483 years. If we take into consideration that in Bible prophecy the year has 360 days, we arrive precisely in the year of the crucifixion of our Lord. Therefore, the 7 + 62 = 69 weeks of years are already fulfilled. The commencing of the last "week of years" will be about the same time of the taking away of the Bride Church. Then the new spiritual beginning with Israel breaks forth.

The first world ruler who subdued Israel was Nebuchadnezzar. With him the gentile powers, the four world kingdoms commenced (Dan. 2 and 7). As the first world ruler received the heart of a beast, so will it be with the last one: "Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him." (Dan. 4: 16). Three more times we find the seven times mentioned in this chapter - that means seven years -, during which this first ruler was a beast. The same applies to the last world ruler. In the last seven years, in the seventieth week, when Satan is cast down (Rev. 12: 9) and enters into him, he will be like a beast and Satan will give him his «seat» (Rev. 13: 2). In the first 3 1/2 years he will not be able to execute his absolute world power, because during that time the two prophets have their ministry with God-given authority of the Word (Rev. 11). In the last 3 1/2 years he will manifest a beastly-satanic nature during the great tribulation and persecution.

According to the testimony of the Scripture there remains one "week of years", 3 1/2 years of grace with Israel and
3 1/2 years of the great tribulation, that means seven years. These last seven years start about the time the Bride Church from the nations will be taken up. A "peace treaty" with Rome - more precisely between the Vatican State, Israel, the PLO and the neighbouring Arab countries - about Jerusalem is now in the making. "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." (Dan. 9: 27).

As the Scripture passage declares, this peace treaty will be made between one and many. It will not be like the usual agreement between nations but rather exclusively involve Jerusalem. Diplomatic relations are established between two nations; this peace accord is made with many in the region. It includes Israel, the PLO, Jordan and the rest of the adjacent Arab states. This aspect was overlooked by Bible scholars and not considered. They only saw Rome and Israel. Actually, it is the most important fact that is necessary for the right understanding and placing of the now materialising end time prophecy.

In Daniel 9 we read about "thy people" and "thy holy city". In Israel, especially in Jerusalem, we find places holy to the Jews, Christians and Muslims. The diplomatic relation established between Israel and the Vatican in 1994 was necessary, so that further negotiations about Jerusalem can be facilitated. The covenant according to Dan. 9: 27 is an agreement with one and many, it is not bilateral but rather multilateral. This fact is being expressed by the plural text. In this scriptural knowledge lies the key - the revelation - and the right understanding for the negotiations going on right now in the Middle East and the Vatican State.

The exchange of ambassadors with Israel shows the statehood character of the Vatican, but it is not the predicted covenant. Such a recognition is well-known and practised between the countries of the world and has no time limit. The seven-year-covenant will not deal with ambassadors and the establishing of embassies, but rather with the rights and the conditions for the three world religions residing in Jerusalem.

Until this day Jerusalem was only the capital of Israel, never the capital of another nation. For the other world religions, Catholicism and Islam, this city was until recently rather of subordinated significance. Now they are facing a very peculiar direction. They forget their places of pilgrimage Mecca and Medina, Lourdes and Fatima, and concentrate with all might upon the capital city of Israel, Jerusalem.

There is only one man on earth to whom the Jews and the Muslims look up with greatest respect - that is the pope, who is recognised by all religions and respected as the central figure. Also his relation with the PLO and the Arab world is excellent. So the Vatican will play a big role in the negotiations with the Arabs to reach an agreement for Israel to rebuild the temple. He will use "high diplomacy" and speak about human rights, and equal rights of the three monotheistic religions etc. All this will happen that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

After the agreement on Jerusalem, the pope who will be in office at that time with all his splendour will come to Jerusalem and visit the erected temple as already predicted about 2,000 years ago, "… so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." (2 Th. 2: 4b).

God became man in the Son and was made a servant. The man of sin as son of perdition exalts himself as God who claims infallibility and receives worship. At first the Jews will fall for the false Messiah whose help they obtain through the Jerusalem accord. Until that moment the veil of Moses will be upon them. Then he will introduce to the Jewish people, with the sceptre in his hand, his version of Christianity, that is the catholic version. Then the "time bomb" will explode and the Lord will reveal Himself as the Angel of the covenant (Rev. 10), and smite the adversary with the breath of His mouth (Isa 11: 4; 2 Th. 2: 8); the covenant will be broken, and the two prophets - the spiritual leaders in Israel - will be killed. At that time, the first half of the last week is over, and three and a half years of terrible judgements and the persecution time will set in (Dan. 7: 25b; Rev. 13: 5b a. o.).

In Dan. 12, in reference to that period, the question is, how long the time would be until those wondrous things come to an end. In verse 7, the Angel swears and gives the allotted time of three and a half years to be from that moment. In Rev. 10: 5-6, we see a similar event. There we are told that there will be no more time or delay. The answer in Dan. 12 is as follows, "And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and swore by him who liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished the breaking up of the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished." (v. 7).

Right towards the final end, God becomes very precise in His Word, putting the allotted time even into regular days. The ministry of the two prophets will be 1260 days (Rev. 11: 3), that is exactly 3 1/2 years. During that time the temple is rebuilt. After the building of the temple and the measuring thereof, we are told that the holy city will be trodden under foot by the Gentiles for exactly 42 months. These are precisely the following 3 1/2 years, as stated in Rev. 11: 2: "… for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months."

"… and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Lk. 21: 24b).

The second half will receive two prolongations. "And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days." (Dan. 12: 11). We find that the time given here is 30 days more to accomplish the terrible destruction. Then we are told about a third number of days, namely 1335. Apparently there are other 45 days necessary for the last events to happen, for instance, the judgement of the nations (Isa. 2: 4; Mic. 4: 3; Mt. 25: 32; Rev. 11: 18; Rev. 20: 4 a. o.). Thereafter, the Millennial Reign commences. Everything then must be restored into a beautiful state. The whole creation is waiting for the moment when all are to be redeemed from corruption. Now the creatures are suffering; they all are waiting to participate in the liberty of the children of God (Rom. 8: 19-21).

In reference to the last time measurement we are told, "Blessed is he that waiteth (endures), and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days." (Dan. 12: 12). With this last phase, everything is brought back and prepared for the Kingdom of God on earth. Blessed are those who endure to the very end, for all who will then live and remain on earth will automatically go into the Millennial Reign. The whole creation will then be placed back into a world as it was in paradise. According to the testimony of the Holy Scriptures, there will be no total end of the world with a complete destruction and burning up of all people, as some wrongly teach, but there will be a cleansing, a purifying process by fire and a glorious new beginning. The whole universe waits for that moment. During the Millennial Reign, peace will be on earth; the wolf and the lamb, the cow and the bear will feed together (Isa. 11: 6-9 etc.), Satan is bound and thrown into the bottomless pit during that period (Rev. 20).

Concerning the religious and political developments of this end time, the man of God, William Branham, predicted in his sermon on 19th March, 1962, in Tifton, Georgia, USA, at the peak of the "cold war", only a few months after the Berlin Wall was built, when Western and Eastern block tanks faced each other, "There's been a teaching rain gone forth. There's been a national teaching rain - communism sown amongst the people, every nation. There's been a Roman revival. Do you know what happens? If they give the … eastern part of Berlin back, that puts … the Roman empire just exactly into the old circle it was in the time of Jesus Christ. Certainly, it does. Perfect."

World communism does not exist any more. It is no more a threat to the Roman Catholic Church. On the contrary, it now experiences a great boom in the former communist countries. Whoever knows the background, can tell about the part and the role the Vatican played in bringing world communism down. The "cold war" came to its end, the Berlin Wall vanished. Almost after 50 years the last Russian soldiers left German territory on the 31st August, 1994. Germany is united, and Europe finds itself in the uniting process. At the same time, world Catholicism is coming up before our very eyes and with it the Roman Empire.

On the 25th March, 1957, the Treaty of Rome was signed. It is the basis for the European Community. This treaty could not have been signed in any other city on earth. World politics are done in the world capital city. We are dealing with the Roman Empire, which is the last one to exist right to the end. In the days of Jesus Christ, Israel was under Roman rulership. Since 63 B.C. the Jewish land was a part of the Roman Empire. The Kingdom of the Maccabees came to an end by force. At the time of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Roman Caesar Augustus had the people counted in all of the Roman Empire, to which Judæa belonged (Lk. 2: 1-5). Paul was a Jew, but he was born a Roman citizen (Acts 22: 25-29). The Roman General Titus who besieged Jerusalem and destroyed it in the year 70 A.D. was the mean prince (Dan. 9: 26b), executing the judgement over the Jews (Mt. 24: 15-22; Mk. 13: 14-20; Lk. 21: 20-24). Strange but true, since 1964 Israel is by a special status associated to the European Union.

Those residing in a country belonging to the European Union find that on their new passports the first line does not indicate their respective countries, but rather the "European Community". Henceforth it is called the "European Union". Already European rights are placed before and above national rights. National courts must send their disputed sentence to be proven at the European Court of Justice at Luxembourg. The Council of Europe, the European Central Bank - the eleven most important institutions have already found their places. The European Union is also the basis for the world government in connection with the spiritual world capital, Rome, where the power will be executed. All nations are put under yoke by the political power of Rome, and all persecution against Bible believing Christians and Jews comes from the religious Rome.

The negotiations between the Vatican State, Israel, the PLO and the Arab countries will continue in spite of difficulties. On 30th December, 1993, the signing of the documents between the Vatican and Israel took place. Only one day later, on the 31st December, 1993, the same Vatican delegation negotiated with the PLO. We can count on it that the predicted eschatological events are now going to happen, one after another. Time and again we are informed about the goal and significance of "peace and safety" in that region, about "historical" events, "historical" treaties, even of the "historical" handshake on the 21st September, 1993, between Pope John Paul II and the High Rabbi of Jerusalem, Mr. Meir Lau, on Castel Gandolfo, and also about the handshake between Mr. Arafat and Mr. Rabin in Washington.

According to the treaty signed on 13th September, 1993, in Washington, within three years the negotiations about the "final status" of Jerusalem must commence and have to be closed within the following two years. The well-known U.S.-politician, the Jew Mr. Henry Kissinger, who was born near Nuremberg, Germany, said immediately after the signing of the treaty, "Peres walked into a trap." The word "peres" signifies according to Daniel 5: 28, "to divide", and so Peres is dividing his own land. Of the 120 delegates of the Knesset in Jerusalem 61 voted for the agreement. One voice decided the future of Israel!

Looking at things from the biblical point of view, the borders of the Promised Land should find the place ordained by God. The two-and-a-half tribes, Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, had their parts on the eastern side of the River Jordan (Josh. 1: 12-15 a. o.). Israel should have received more land, but not given it up, if they wish to be placed geographically in God's order. Surely, this will soon be by divine intervention.

It is not the Gaza Strip, Jericho, the West Bank, or the Golan Heights, but Jerusalem that will be the burdensome stone for all nations right to the last battle. All who try to "burden themselves with it shall be cut to pieces" (Zech. 12: 2-3). By the Gaza-Jericho-agreement, the nations round about are placed at the doorstep of Jerusalem. Now all nations are in the UN and for Arafat, and therefore, against Israel. It was this man, who in 1974 introduced his stepwise plan as follows: "In the first phase we shall put up strategic pillars in Gaza and Jericho, so that from there we can take Jerusalem. Because he that has Jerusalem has all Israel." Six days after the signing of the treaty in Washington, on 19th September, 1993, Arafat repeated this announcement before 19 foreign ministers of the League of Arab States in Cairo. He read from the PLO constitution the old and well known thesis, ending with the words, "Our goal is the destruction of Israel." Already in the past wars, Mr. Arafat fought in each of them from the first one in 1948; the Arab world tried each time, as they say, to "throw Israel into the sea".

The motto of the PLO is: first Gaza and the West Bank, then Jerusalem and all Israel. For this reason Mr. Arafat has imprinted in his "state coat of arms", all of Israel from Eilat at the Red Sea to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa. To him and his understanding, that is the State of Palestine, which never existed with such borders. The name Palestine is derived from the Greek/Roman wording "Palaistine" and was only applicable to the land of the Philistines. That is the Gaza Strip of today and no more. The Arab states who are 640 times larger than Israel could have easily settled their "brethren in faith and arms", the Palestinians, within their territory.

The Holy Scripture does not say that real peace would come through political and religious negotiations. Therein we find expressed what will happen in reality: There is talk about peace, there are negotiations, land is being given for peace, in every way compromise is made, until that specific regional peace treaty is signed. All this happens, so that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But the warning remains: "For when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, and they shall not escape."
(1 Th. 5: 1-3).

It was on 29th/30th September, 1938, when the British Prime Minister Chamberlain, after the signature at the Munich Agreement with Hitler proclaimed, "Peace in our days." Only a few weeks later, on the 9th/10th November, 1938, the synagogues in Hitler's Germany went up in flames. In that one night, 91 Jews were murdered by the Nazis, more than 26,000 were taken into concentration camps, and uncounted Jewish stores were destroyed. On the 13th September, 1993, the slogan in Washington was similar, "Peace in our time". Although the Israeli Prime Minister, Mr. Rabin, emphasised peace, especially as he repeated the words of Eccl. 3: 8, "A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace", for Israel and the city of Jerusalem very bad times are still ahead, because God has said so in His holy Word.

The time of grace for the nations will last until God starts with Israel by His grace again. This time period with view to Israel and the Church is spoken of with the prophetic utterance "the last days" (Acts 2: 17; Heb. 1: 2 a. o.).

In his second sermon after Pentecost, Peter referred to the promise given in Dt. 18: 15-18 and shows forth that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, was the prophet of whom Moses had prophesied. "… every soul, who will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people." All the prophets from Samuel "have likewise foretold of these days." (Acts 3: 22-24). These last two days now surely are going to end soon.

The Prophet Hosea also spoke about these last days in reference to the scattering of Israel. "Come, and let us return unto the Lord; for … he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

After two days will he revive us; in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight." (6: 1-2). These two days mentioned here are the past two thousand years in which Israel was scattered. Now, at the end of these days, they are gathered as many Bible references testify and as we have witnessed in our generation.

The gathering after two days does not mean that they have already received life from God. That will only happen when they receive the Messiah, in Whom alone is eternal life for all men. For only in Jesus Christ has God personally revealed Himself, bringing salvation to mankind. In view of Israel, Hosea states, "… in the third day he will raise us up …" - this means: after the time for the nations, in the time of grace for Israel, which already falls into the beginning of the Day of the Lord, they will receive their life from God. "For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?" (Rom. 11: 15).

Until then, they are still in darkness and the veil of Moses is upon them, in spite of their gathering and national existence. Thus Paul writes to the Corinthians, "But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart.

Nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away." (2 Cor. 3: 15-16).

God's plan of salvation runs smoothly as was already planned before time commenced. Now we are in the midst of the fulfilment and realisation of Bible end-time prophecy. At any moment, the time of grace for the nations could end and the perfection of the Bride Church realised and then she will be taken away. After that, God will make a new spiritual start with Israel, the covenant with the antichrist will be made and the temple rebuilt.

The following example should show how deeply convinced the Jews expect the promises to come true now. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Religion in Israel and the High Rabbinate, already 93 vessels for the temple are finished. They can be seen in the Misgav Ladach Street 24, in Jerusalem. Next will be the work of the 1.80 meters high candlestick according to Ex. 25: 31-40. 43 kg of gold are needed for it and it will be done from one lump only. An exception is with the ark of the covenant, because the Jews who seem to know their Scripture believe that the ark of the covenant was not carried away as were all the vessels of the temple. They are convinced that the ark of the covenant is still intact under the ruins of the temple.

Those believing Jews speak freely that they are counting on those things to take place in the immediate future. They are convinced that God, with the rebirth of the country of Israel since 1948, when the nation was founded, has brought His people back into the original rhythm of the year of jubilee. They believe that after 49 years there will be a great jubilee (Lev. 25: 8-12), as Moses then declared to Israel. As they count time, it will be in 1998. We surely know that the events cannot be placed and calculated within a certain year, but we also know that the realisation of all outstanding events are just before us. The returning of Israel into the Land of Promise, of necessity has to bring back all that is predestined for them. For the Bride Church, all these things which are taking place in Israel, should now be sounding the highest alarm. Before God deals in grace with Israel, His plan of salvation with the Church from the nations must be complete (Rom. 11: 25-32). The beginning of the 70th week of years is within reach, and therefore, the return of the heavenly Bridegroom to take home the earthly Bride is just at hand.

Because we see and understand and can place all these things properly, we may lift up our heads knowing - not guessing but knowing upon the basis of what happens - that our redemption is near. The events laid out in Bible prophecy speak of the near Return of the Lord and of the redemption of our bodies and the taking away of the Bride Church to be with the Lord.

Of course, nobody knows the time or the hour. That is not even necessary, but we should work out our salvation with fear and trembling and must remain sober in all things and live on a normal life. Every one of us should plan as though the whole life is before us. Whoever plans to build a house, should do so; whoever plans to learn a certain trade or do a certain job, should do it. Whoever would like to get married, should do so. Whatever we do, we should remain sober and sensible, because we do not know the moment the Lord might come. The earthly things must continue with us as they are, but at all times we should watch, be found in the will of God and be ready for that day.

The condition prevailing among God's children and the Church at the present time will not last that way up to the end. God has promised to do great things. He said that He would shake heaven and earth (Heb. 12: 26-28). God has promised the former and the latter rain (Joel 2: 23) which will come in the time of harvest (Jas. 5: 7). The Spirit of God will move at the end of the time of grace as at the very beginning and will come down upon the dry land as mighty floods (Isa. 44: 3). We can expect a short and mighty move and working of the Holy Spirit which will lead right into the resurrection, the changing of our bodies and the taking away to meet the Lord in the air. The finale will be a mighty revival within the Bride Church. They are those who have their lamps burning and oil (Holy Spirit) in their vessels. In that short period, great things will be done which will astonish all, and strengthen the faith of the true believers. Then the pressure will come upon them, and the call will be heard by those who are ready to meet the heavenly Bridegroom, "Come soon, Lord Jesus!" The Spirit and the Bride will say, "Come!" And finally the words are heard, "Yes. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Amen."

Epilogue

In the forty years of my preaching ministry and labouring in the vineyard of the Lord, I have experienced the wonderful leading of the Holy Spirit innumerable times. While writing about these difficult and significant subjects, I have as never before experienced repeatedly in a direct and practical way, what it means, "the Spirit searcheth all things …" and "the Spirit … will guide you into all the truth … and he will show you things to come" etc. Over and again it happened that the Spirit of God gave light and showed connections which I had never seen or known before.

With deep gratitude and satisfaction I experienced the completion of this manuscript. It is as though the Spirit of God came to His rest within me and a great burden was taken from me after I had completed this God-given commission. I therefore dedicate this exposition of God's revealed prophetic Word for the beneficial use of God's people. To prepare this exposition was the biggest task and challenge which I had to face in my ministry for the Lord. Now I do have the impression that God is pleased looking down upon it. At the end of this seventh church age it was the will of the Lord, the glorified Head of His Church, to make known His whole counsel as it was revealed to the apostles and prophets. This exposition is faithful and true.

If someone rebukes me for being hard and without love, this judgement is human. Surely, God would love to see, and myself also, that all spiritual things would be pure sunshine, but this is regrettably not the case. I beg all to see me just as a tool, a mouthpiece of God and leave me out of the picture, and rather address God directly Who only is fully responsible for His Work. A messenger cannot be blamed for a message. He must just convey the same. The Lord Himself has condemned certain things by His Word because they do not originate with Him and therefore cannot stand in His presence. Who can dispute with Him? Divine truth can be very sharp and might hurt, but then it has a healing effect.

In the book "Traditional Christianity …" I have set forth the fundamental truth of the proclamation of the Gospel and also the basic teachings of the New Testament Church, even showing forth the historical background and the development in church history. In this publication the concern was to set forth in clear biblical language the hidden text of the Book of Revelation. From the beginning, it was the principle of our Lord to use symbolic speech in parables. Addressing His disciples, He said, "… it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven."

Whatever comes from God, we do receive by revelation of the Spirit. Also our understanding is opened to know the Scripture and see the fulfilment and realisation thereof. This is the time of the complete and final revelation of all mysteries hidden in His Word.

In the course of church history, since early Christianity, there was no breakthrough to the full revelation of Jesus Christ in any revival. The Redeemer remained the stone of stumbling and the rock of offence, Whom the spiritual builders could not place correctly. They could not also see clearly the antichrist as the Scripture shows him. In reference to him, there are two main schools of thought; one teaches that he already appeared in the days of the apostles, and the other believe that he will come some day. Some search for him among the Jews, others look for him in the Arab world etc.

The Apostle John wrote very clearly that the antichrist will come, he also stated that many antichrists were already in the world (1 Jn. 2: 18). Both is right. The church of the antichrist has existed since the first Christian generation alongside the true Church. But during the final space, when Satan enters the man of sin, the antichrist will not only act as the "false prophet" but also as the "beast". The revealing of the marks of this institution and the one presiding over it is now, at the end-time, of the greatest significance. Therefore the Holy Spirit, as I experienced while writing, has put such great emphasis on it and shown forth the light from all directions.

In regards to the manner of this exposition, I have taken the attitude of the Apostle Paul, not to come forth "with excellency of speech or of wisdom", and also the motto of the esteemed reformer and Bible translator, Martin Luther, "The grammar must not reign over the revelation, but rather must serve the same."

As God watches over His Word, may He watch over these writings of His Word. This short exposition is dedicated to our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ. May He bless the contents and those who read them. To the eternal and faithful God be the glory, now and for ever. "The Father of glory may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him." (Eph. 1: 17b). Amen!

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