Updated: Aug 29, 2021
I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:10-11
From the first century until 20th, there wasn’t a whole lot of movement going on in God’s prophetic long-range calendar. Similar to the ‘silent years’ between the Old Testament and the New, we had been in an extended ‘silent period’ since Jerusalem fell to the Romans in AD70. During that time, kingdoms and empires came and went, Christianity waxed and waned across the world, and technology finally liberated man from being limited to the speed of horse. But in regards to where we are on God’s calendar, no one really knew where we were exactly, that is, until 1948.
The two dominant Eschatology’s that existed from the 3rd century until the 19th, were Amillennialism, and Historic Premillennialism (now called the Post Tribulation view). The former, stifled any potential understanding of God’s prophetic word, by allegorizing everything into a wispy, unknown sphere of speculation. The latter attempted to label every aberrant leader and/or movement of their day, as ‘The Beast’.
Prior to the Dispensationalist movement of the early 19th century, about as close as anyone came to really grasp where we were, was Sir Isaac Newton, and Archbishop Ussher. These two men did the yeoman’s load of the work digging through ancient secular historical documents and comparing them to what Scripture said. By this, Ussher figured out that creation happened on/about 4004 BC or year 1 Anno Mundi (AM counts from creation forward). Although not perfect in their findings, they did give us a pretty good idea of where we were with the information they had available to them at the time.
The reason it was difficult to gauge where we were on God’s calendar from the 1stcentury until the 20th, was because the only nation God ever used as His geopolitical time-piece, Israel, hadn’t been a nation for 1,878 years. (See Daniel 2, 9) The Dispensationalists came to understand that the Jewish nation would HAVE to be reinserted onto the world’s stage again because that is the conclusion God’s word comes to if taken at face value. Isaiah 2, 11; Jeremiah 30; Ezekiel 37-39; Amos 9; Zech. 12-14 all speak to Israel existing again as a nation, for a second time, in the last days.
By the late 19th century (late 1880’s onward), men like Sir Robert Anderson, Cyrus Scofield, and Clarence Larkin began to lay out a clearer understanding of where we were, and what needed to transpire in the not too distant future. While critics like to lay charges against these men for various issues, all three of them were correct in understanding decades before it happened, that Israel would have to become a nation again, and thus it did, in 1948.
They understood that the first time Israel (Judah and Israel) went into Diaspora was when the Assyrians and Babylonians conquered them. (7th and 6th Century’s BC respectively) Yet, they were regathered in the 5th Century BC back to their homeland by the Persians. The second diaspora began in AD70 when the Romans sacked Jerusalem. The second regathering if you will, would not occur until 1948, almost two millennia later.
Without Israel back in her land as a nation, there was no frame of reference by which to base God’s timeline. God’s entire timeline centered on a 490-year cycle which was measured when Israel was in covenant with God. Dr. E.W. Bullinger did the yeoman’s work on trying to understand how numbers and time figured into Scripture. (This, by the way, is not an endorsement of everything E.W. Bullinger did, taught, or believed, but he was very accurate on certain things) He came up with the following;
The Four Great Jubilee Redemption Cycles (70 Sabbatical Years)
Birth of Abraham to the Exodus: 490 years Actually 505 years; Abraham was 75 years old when he departed Uz for the Canaan. (Gen 12:4) 10 years later, he had Ishmael with the handmaiden Hagar. (Gen. 16:3) Abraham was 100 years old when they (he and Sarah) conceived Isaac. (Gen. 21:5) The law was given 430 after the Promise was given (Gal. 3:16-18) but subtract the 15 years for the delay of the promise by having Ishmael
Exodus to the dedication of Solomon’s Temple: 490 years Actually 573 years, but subtracting the years under servitude (see Judges), and adding in the years to complete the temple. (1 Kings 6:38)
Temple to the Decree: 490 years (2 Chronicles 36:20-23) Actually 560 years, but subtract the 70 years spent in captivity to the Babylonians
Decree to the Cross: 490 years (Daniel 9:24-27) Began with the decree by Persian King Artaxerxes to Nehemiah to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, and stopped at 483 years with the death of Christ on the cross. (see Nehemiah 2)
With the death of Israel’s true Messiah by her own decree (Matt. 27:23-26), Israel inadvertently postponed their own redemption by seven years. These final seven years, also known as; the Day of the Lord, Daniel’s 70th Week, and the time of Jacob’s Trouble, and it is still owed to God.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Eph. 6:12
At the heart of them, World Wars I and II were not simply geopolitical wars waged over money, land, or power. The Zionist movement in the 1890s triggered WWI because Satan did not want the Jews repatriating to what was then called Palestine. But at the end of the Great War, the Ottoman’s Turk’s control over the Middle East was fractured, granting the victors (Great Britain and France) the custodial rights of redistributing the former Ottoman Empire territories back to the various tribal groups and peoples which is how the Balfour Declaration was decreed.
WWII wasn’t just about the ‘good guys vs. the bad guys, or creating a thousand-year Reich’. It wasn’t even about Nazism. These may have all been by-products of the rise of Nazi Germany, but at the heart of it, stood one man, Adolph Hitler. He had survived WWI, witnessed the humiliating events that transpired in the Weimar Republic’s demise. He had seen the bloody Bolshevik Revolution, which traded the Russian Czars for the Marxist’s Politburo. (Karl Marx was Jewish). The young Hitler may not have even understood that his hatred of the Jews went beyond even the political and ethnic differences he had with them but was spurred on by a much older, sinister force at work in the unseen world. Hitler’s heart had begun to be turned, being twisted and hardened by seething darkness that stemmed from the father of lies himself, Satan.
Satan’s hatred doesn’t simply exist because of the Abrahamic covenant, or even that Christ came from the tribe of Judah. I mean, what’s done is done and he knows he can’t go back and undo that. But Satan thinks by destroying the Jews, he can postpone his inevitable future because he knows everything hinges on them becoming a nation again…hence the repeated expulsions of them from every country they’d ever settled in. And if he can’t do that, he would wipe them out as a people. (See Rev. 12)
At the end of WWII, the Allied Powers uncovered that Hitler’s agenda went far beyond military hunger when they began discovering the various concentration camps spread throughout Europe. But by this point, the victors were simply trying to grasp the depth and breadth of the genocide that had taken place under their noses.
But despite Satan’s best efforts, the Jews survived WWII and the Holocaust, thus triggering a new set of dominos to start falling into place. For instance;
The Bretton-Woods Agreement (1944) linked the US Dollar to pretty much everything. This would be essential to the formation of a future ‘mark of the beast’ system.
The formation of a war-torn, divided Europe into a Common Market of economies, would eventually assemble into what it is today, the European Union. This was essential to the formation of the rise of the revived Roman Empire.
The formation of NATO began in 1949. Once Satan collapsed the US (along with all the economies of the world) Satan would need a multi-national force by which to conscript his global army.
The Cold War. This was needed to feed the need to flood the world with massive weapons of mass destruction.
The rise of the Middle East blood, oil, and fanaticism. So long as Israel was back in her land, Satan needed her to be drowning in a sea of hostility, violence, and frustration…thus willing to do just about anything, for peace and security.
The war on culture, particularly in the west, would decimate spiritually sleeping communities across the United States and Europe, blending eastern mysticism with secular humanism in an attempt to completely corrupt what remains of the Church.
Rapid advances in technology, travel, and communications. This is something every other generation lacked, and would be essential in casting a web over the entire planet to implement total control.
The inertial navigation system uses deviations to generate corrective commands to drive the system from a position where it is, to a position where it isn’t. Arriving at the position where it wasn’t, it now is. Consequently, the position where it is, is now the position where it wasn’t and so it follows that the position where it was, is now the position where it isn’t. (ARINC 561 Manual August 1976)
In layman’s terms, it is a navigation system that figures out where it is, by movement, and then predicts where it will be, based on where it isn’t. Make sense? Another way to think about it is, if this object never moved, it would have no frame of reference to fix itself on. Ergo, the greatest weakness of the inertial navigation system is at its beginning. But once it starts moving, it (said object) can figure out where it is relatively quickly. So where it was, will soon be the position where it isn’t. Think about that for a second.
How and when do God’s prophetic plans, marry up with the geopolitical reality we are living in? Just as the ‘silent years’ between the Old and New Testaments were void of any true prophets proclaiming God’s truth to the world, these years were NOT absent of God’s plans being enacted through the Gentile world to bring about what had to come to pass, in order to fulfill previous prophecies already foretold. For example, we know historically that in what we call the ‘silent years’, Nebuchadnezzar’s multi-metallic statue (see Daniel 2) representing the Gentile world powers, had to play out, and they did.
Where we aren’t, is where we used to be, that is before Israel was rebirthed as a nation again. This may also be how we reconcile what Jesus said about ‘no man knows the day or the hour’, with Paul’s statement that we (watching believers) would not be caught by surprise by that day because we’d recognize the season of our Lord’s return. (1 Thess. 5:1-10)
We understand, that no other generation for at least 1,878 years, has had Israel back in her homeland as a sovereign nation.
We know, that the one sure sign Christ gave us that great Tribulation was about to begin, was the Abomination of Desolation (Matt. 24:15)
We know historically, this did not happen up to and including AD70. In order to have an Abomination of Desolation, there first needs to be a Jewish Temple standing in Jerusalem. See point number 1.
We know that no other generation has had the technologies available to them, which would allow for one man (Antichrist) to control all the buying and selling throughout the world. (Rev. 13:15-18)
We understand, that there hasn’t been a greater period of converging signs that Christ and the Apostles spoke of concerning the season of His return than there are today.
While I can’t tell you where exactly we are, other than to say we are at the very end of the current age we live in, (Luke 21:24) I can tell you where we aren’t…
Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.” Luke 21:28