6 Israel's Return
Home Up Introduction 1 Noah's Flood 2 Dinosaurs 3 Age of the Earth 4 No Mech for Evol 5  Prophetic Plan 6 Israel's Return


Chapter 6

Israel's Return to the Promised Land

The nation of Israel is testimony to the trustworthiness of the Bible. God promised in the book of Jeremiah chapter 31 v 31-37 that the nation of Israel would not cease to be a people as long as the sun and moon remained in the sky. The nation of Israel had to return to the promised land because all the end-time prophecies center around her. What is also clear is Satan's desire to destroy the Jewish people in opposition to God's plan. History records numerous pograms and persecutions since 70 A.D. cumulating in Hitler's attempt to wipe them out. Through this crime against humanity the door opened for Israel to become a nation in one day, May 14, 1948. Israel had been exiled from the promised land once to Assyria and Babylon and once to all the nations in 70 A.D.. We will see that her return in the latter days signifies the end of the church age and the movements for the completion of the 70th week of Daniel. The church age covers the period from the feast of Pentecost (50 days after the crucifixion) to what is called the "rapture" of the church. The rapture is the sudden removal of the bride of Christ from earth to meet the Lord Jesus in the air. The raptured church will instantly receive immortal bodies and enter heaven with Christ. God will then complete the 70th week of Daniel and fulfill his program and promises to the nation of Israel.

The Return

That Israel, in unbelief, would come back to her land after many years and be restored spiritually by her Messiah is clearly presented in Ezekiel chapter 37 (written circa 585 B.C.). In verses 1-10 God gives Ezekiel a vision of the valley of dry bones. They were very dry and had been dead a long time. In verses 11 and 12 God says that these bones are the whole house of Israel and that God would open their graves and cause them to come back to the promised land. From 70 A.D. to 1948 Israel had ceased to be a nation for nearly 1,900 years. Yet God 2,500 years before had told Ezekiel he would bring them back out of all the nations!

Reading Ezekiel 37 v 21-28

Verse 21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:

Verse 22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.

Verse 23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwelling places, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.

Verse 24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.

Verse 25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince forever.

Verse 26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

Verse 27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Verse 28 And the heathen shall know that I the LORD do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.

Verses 21 and 22 describe the gathering of the nation of Israel from out of the nations and their coming back as one nation. The nation of Israel was exiled once to Assyria (721 B.C.) and Babylon (605 B.C.) and once to all the nations (70 A.D.). The government of Israel in 1948 debated this very issue whether to come back as one nation or two. Verse 24-28 describes the everlasting covenant and reign of the Messiah forever. These verses will be fulfilled at the end of the 70th week of Daniel and will complete God's promises to the nation of Israel.

Ezekiel chapter 38 adds further confirmation of Israel coming back to her land in the latter days. This chapter describes the invasion of Israel during the 7 year tribulation by Russia and her allies.

Ezekiel 38 v 8,15,16 reads,

Verse 8 After many days thou (Russia) shalt be visited: in the latter years thou shalt come into the land (Israel) that is brought back from the sword, and is gathered out of many people (nations), against the mountains of Israel, which have been always waste: but it is brought forth out of the nations, and they shall dwell safely all of them.

Verse 15 And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts (the uttermost north of Israel), thou, and many people with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army:

Verse 16 And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, as a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days. and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee...

The prophet Jeremiah in chapter 30 verses 3,7,9,11 and 24 describes Israel's return in the latter days.

Verse 3 For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.

Verse 7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved...

Verse 9 But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.

Verse 11 For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee; yet will I not make a full end of thee; but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.

Verse 24 The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until he hath done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it.

Verse 3 says God will again cause Israel and Judah to return to the land. This gathering has been ongoing since 1948. Verse 7 identifies the time of Jacob's (Israel's) trouble which corresponds to the 7 year tribulation or the 70th week of Daniel. Verse 9 says Israel will serve David their king or the Messiah. We know that Jesus descended from the tribe of Judah and the lineage of the house of David. In verse 24 this regathering is identified as the latter days just prior to the 1,000 year millennial kingdom.

Joel chapter 3 v 1-2 describes the return of Israel and God gathering all nations to the valley of Jehoshaphat (Armageddon) at the end of the 7 year tribulation. Revelation chapter 19 describes Jesus physically returning to earth to rescue Israel and judge the Gentile nations. Zechariah 12 v 7-11 and 14 v 1-5 add further details. Jesus will return and stand on the Mount of Olives with his bride the Church. They say the Jews will look on whom they have pierced (Jesus) and repent.

The gathering that we have witnessed since 1948 is the prelude to the events which occur during the 70th week of Daniel. Isaiah 11 v 10-12 describe the cumulation of this gathering as the Messiah steps into human history at the end of the 7 year tribulation and brings the remaining Jews from the four corners of the earth back to the promised land.

Reading Isaiah 11 v 10-12

Verse 10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse (the Messiah), which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

Verse 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

Verse 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

Israel as the Fig Tree

Israel's birth as a nation signifies the last generation before the Messiah's reign. All the prophetic passages are dovetailing at the same time as the birth of Israel. We are witnessing the political developments of the Revived Roman Empire, the apostasy of the professing Christian church and the move towards the middle east peace treaty which when confirmed by Anti-Christ begins the 7 year countdown. This is exciting yet somewhat sobering for a true Christian. He knows that God has promised to remove the true Church before the 7 year tribulation begins but he also sees the gathering storm (1 Thessalonians 4 v 15-18 and Titus 2 v 12-13).

In Luke chapter 21 and Matthew chapter 24 we have parallel passages describing conditions before and during the 7 year tribulation. Both of these chapters are addressing questions concerning the end-times and the nation of Israel. The disciples who asked these questions were both Jews and the apostles of the church. Therefore the Lord Jesus answers them weaving the transition from the end of the church age into the 70th week of Daniel.

We know for sure that the 70th week of Daniel begins with Anti-Christ confirming the middle east peace treaty for a period of 7 years. This concludes at Armageddon with Jesus returning to judge and setup the 1,000 year kingdom promised to Israel. As we study the parable of the fig tree we will see that Jesus identifies the last generation as the one which witnesses the rebirth of Israel.

Luke 21 v 1-27 covers the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. and the scattering of Israel into the gentile nations. It then describes events leading up to and into the 7 year tribulation cumulating with the description of the Son of Man (Jesus) coming visibly to earth at the end of the great tribulation. At this point the Lord shifts attention to the parable of the fig tree in verses 28-32. A parable when used is meant to give insight to those who are sincerely seeking God but is veiled to those who are not.

Reading Luke 21 v 28-32

Verse 28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Verse 29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree and all the trees;

Verse 30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.

Verse 31 So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

Verse 32 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

In order to understand this parable we must look at some other passages which will help us clarify the identity of the fig tree. In Matthew 21 v 19 Jesus is returning into Jerusalem and curses a fig tree upon seeing that it bore no fruit. Jesus had approached the fig tree expecting to find fruit. This is a picture of Israel because for the three and a half years of his public preaching the nation had not responded to his call for repentance. Luke chapter 13 parallels this picture.

Reading Luke 13 v 6-9

Verse 6 He (Jesus) spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree (Israel) planted in his vineyard (the nations); and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.

Verse 7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?

Verse 8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:

Verse 9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

These verses describe the Lord Jesus coming to Israel looking for a spiritual response to his ministry but instead Israel rejected him. The religious leaders of Israel plotted to kill him and declared that his blood should be on them and on their children (Matthew 27 v 25). A similar parable is found in Luke 20 v 9-16 where the owner of a rented vineyard sent his son to collect the fruit of the harvest and the renters killed the son thinking they would gain the vineyard. In the Old Testament Israel is symbolically identified with a fig tree and the fruit thereof in Jeremiah 24 v 1-10 and Hosea 9 v 10.

From these scriptures we can see that the fig tree is Israel. We can then discern why Jesus spake this parable. Luke 21 v 30 describes the birth of a young fig tree not yet bearing spiritual fruit which corresponds to Israel becoming a nation after 1,900 years of exile. Luke 21 v 32 says that this generation shall not pass until all be fulfilled. The verses indicate that the generation which witnesses the re-birth of Israel will see the rapture of the true Church, the signing of the 7 year peace treaty, and the return of Jesus to begin the millennial kingdom.

Some have tried to interpret "this generation" as meaning that the Jews as a distinct people will survive until the completion of all things, however this is known as a tautology. A tautology is a useless repetition of something that has been obviously stated before. The prophetic plan throughout the Bible has the nation of Israel back in her land, witnessing the one whom they have pierced, and repenting of their sins. It would be meaningless to say "this generation" refers to Israel's survival when she is clearly on center stage in order for God to complete his promises to her. No, it is more obvious that God is indicating that once Israel is back in her land, the prophetic promises will rapidly move to completion before the eyes of the generation that witnesses her re-birth. Again it is no coincidence that nearing the 6,000 year mark from creation we have witnessed Israel back in the land, the Revived Roman Empire develop, and all the other prophetic passages fall into place.

Consider what the prophet Hosea (circa 710 B.C.) had to say about Israel in Hosea 3 v 4,5.

Verse 4 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice (temple system), and without an image, and without an ephod (part of the high priest's attire), and without teraphim:

Verse 5 Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king (the Messiah); and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.

For over 1,900 years the nation of Israel has been scattered, without the temple and its sacrificial system, but she has returned in these latter days!

Hosea had more to say about the nation of Israel in Hosea 6 v 1,2.

Verse 1 Come, and let us return unto the LORD: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.

Verse 2 After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

The nation of Israel has been scattered and smitten among the nations for two thousand years but in the third thousand years they will live in the Messiah's presence during the millennial kingdom.

The Prophetic Time Clock

The nation of Israel is God's prophetic time clock. The completion of the 70 weeks of Daniel were to issue in the reign of the Messiah and the millennial kingdom. It becomes obvious that the 70 weeks of years were not chronological because they would of expired shortly after Jesus died on the cross. The Messiah and the millennial kingdom is still future. At the end of the 69 weeks when Israel rejected her Messiah God stopped the time clock. We are now living in the period of time between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel known as the church age. This is a time of grace where Jesus is calling both Jews and Gentiles into a personal relationship with him. The church is known as the bride of Christ. The re-birth of the nation of Israel has begun the transition from the end of the church age into preparations for the completion of the 70th week of Daniel.

Daniel's 70th Week Expanded

In both the Old and New Testament God has laid out numerous passages which expand our understanding of the 7 year tribulation. The book of Revelation gives great detail of the 70th week of Daniel starting in chapter 6 all the way to chapter 19. The 70th week of Daniel is made up of significant events at the beginning, mid-point and end. Becoming familiar with these events will help in our understanding of scriptures which deal with the tribulation time.

The beginning of the 70th week of Daniel starts when Anti-Christ signs the 7 year middle east peace treaty. The Anti-Christ must first be revealed to the world before he can move by means of peace to center stage. Revelation chapter 6 to 8 record the opening of the seven seals. The one who opens the seals is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ himself. These seven seals cover the 7 year tribulation and bring God's direct judgment and wrath upon a disobedient world.

Revelation chapter 6 v 1, 2 and 4 reveal Anti-Christ coming onto the world stage pretending to be Christ. Anti-Christ appears in verse 2 riding a white horse but conquering by means of peace. The next horse in verse 4 is the one which takes peace from the earth. The Anti-Christ comes as a counterfeit Messiah riding a white horse with an apostate Christian Church still on earth waiting to greet him. This is parallel to Revelation chapter 19 where the Lord Jesus and the true Church come at the end of the 7 year tribulation riding white horses.

Reading Revelation 6 v 1,2,4

Verse 1 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.

Verse 2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he (Anti-Christ) that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering and to conquer.

Verse 4 And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

The 7 year tribulation is made up of two periods of three and a half years or 42 months or 1,260 days. The last three and one half years of the tribulation is called the "great tribulation". At the mid-point Anti-Christ betrays Israel by setting up his image in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and demands their worship. At the same time Satan is cast from heaven and seeks to persecute Israel. Up until this time Anti-Christ as leader of the Revived Roman Empire had been guaranteeing Israel's security but now his true colors are revealed.

Reading Revelation 12 v 12-14 and chapter 13 v 1-5,

Verse 12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Verse 13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman (Israel) which brought forth the man child (Jesus Christ).

Verse 14 And to the woman (Israel) were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time (three and a half years), from the face of the serpent.

Verse 1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast (the Revived Roman Empire, Daniel chapter 7) rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns (kings), and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Verse 2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

Verse 3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his (Anti-Christ's) deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

Verse 4 And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

Verse 5 And there was given unto him (Anti-Christ) a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months (three and a half years).

Revelation chapter 19 records the events at the end of the tribulation. In verses 7 and 8 we see the Lamb (Jesus Christ) and his wife (the true Church) in heaven preparing to return to earth. The true church had been raptured to heaven just prior to the Anti-Christ's 7 year peace treaty with Israel leaving behind the apostate Christian church. The Lamb's wife is arrayed in fine white linen which is the righteousness of Christ.

Revelation 19 v 11-15 reads,

Verse 11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

Verse 12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

Verse 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

Verse 14 And the armies (Colossians 3 v 4) which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Verse 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Numerous scriptures picture this ultimate triumph of Jesus Christ as he takes possession of planet earth as its rightful King. In Revelation 19 v 20 the Anti-Christ and the false prophet are cast alive into the lake of fire. Revelation 20 v 2 says that Satan is bound for a thousand years as the millennial kingdom is instituted. Reading from the book of Jude v 14 it says "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints."

Reading Zechariah 12 v 2,3 and 10,

Verse 2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.

Verse 3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

Verse 10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

Reading Zechariah 14 v 1-5,

Verse 1 Behold the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.

Verse 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

Verse 3 Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

Verse 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley, and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

Verse 5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee."

All these verses describe the same event, Jesus Christ returning at the end of the 7 year tribulation to set up the millennial kingdom. What is really astonishing is mankind's rebellious hearts. They actually counsel together and turn their weapons upon Christ at his appearing. Psalm 2 verses 1-12 says that the kings of the earth take counsel together against the Lord's intention to set his King (Jesus) upon the holy hill of Zion (Jerusalem). God counsels them in verse 12 to "kiss the son" lest they perish. We observe in Revelation 19 v 19,21 the vain attempt to oppose Christ as they are immediately slain. Having rejected a pardon they faced the wrath of God.

In Matthew chapter 24 we can identify the same timepoints for the 7 year tribulation here also. The beginning of the 7 year tribulation is part of Matthew 24 v 5-8 for Jesus has just described the beginning of birth pangs. A number of birth pangs will intensify before and into the seven year tribulation; religious deception, false Messiahs, national and ethnic conflict, famines, disease, and earthquakes in various places. In Luke 21 v 28 it says that when these things begin to happen, look up for your redemption draws nigh. This has a twofold meaning because the rapture (the removal of the true Church from earth to heaven to meet Christ) happens at this time. And also upon the signing of the peace treaty Israel's redemption follows 7 years later.

The mid-point of the 7 year tribulation is clearly seen in Matthew chapter 24 verse 15 and 21 which initiates the last three and a half years of great tribulation. In verse 15 Anti-Christ betrays Israel and sets up his image in the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. Reading Matthew 24 v 15 and 21 as follows,

Verse 15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (the temple's inner room),

Verse 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Verse 15 is describing the same event as Daniel 9 v 27 where Anti-Christ in the midst of the week causes the temple sacrifices to cease as he declares his deity to Israel and claims to be God. This event also has a forerunner in Israel's history. During the time of the Greek Empire the kingdom of Alexander the Great was divided into four parts. Out of the Syrian part arose a king named Antiochus Epiphanes who sought to persecute Israel and desecrated the temple from 171 to 165 B.C.. He sacrificed a pig on the alter and erected an image of his pagan god in the temple. Anti-Christ will follow a similar pattern in the middle of the 7 year tribulation.

The end of the tribulation is clearly presented in Matthew 24 v 27-30.

Reading Matthew 24 v 27-30,

Verse 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Verse 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Verse 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heavens shall be shaken:

Verse 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

This is the same scene we observed in Revelation chapter 19 and also Zechariah 12 v 10 as Jesus Christ and his bride come back to earth to establish the millennial kingdom.

Another parallel passage is 2 Thessalonians 2 v 1-12. It reads as follows,

Verse 1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together (rapture) unto him,

Verse 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand (the 7 year tribulation and millennial kingdom).

Verse 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first (apostasy of the professing church), and that man of sin (Anti-Christ) be revealed, the son of perdition;

Verse 4 Who opposed and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God (the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem), showing himself that he is God.

Verse 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

Verse 6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he (Anti-Christ) might be revealed in his time.

Verse 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he (the Holy Spirit) who now letteth (restrains) will let, until he be taken out of the way.

Verse 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

Verse 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

Verse 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

Verse 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

Verse 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

The beginning of Daniel's 70th week is first preceded by the rapture of the true Church in verse 1. Then the Anti-Christ is revealed in verse 3 (parallel to Revelation 6 v 1,2). The 7 year middle east peace treaty is signed shortly thereafter.

The middle of the 7 year tribulation is in verse 4 where Anti-Christ desecrates the temple in Jerusalem and takes the seat of God paralleling Daniel 9 v 27 and Matthew 24 v 15.

The end of the 7 year tribulation is in verse 8. The Lord Jesus will destroy Anti-Christ with the brightness of his coming paralleling Revelation chapter 19 and Matthew 24 v 27-30.

We also mention in verse 7 the role of the restrainer (the Holy Spirit). Verse 7 is in the first person "he" and it describes a work that the Holy Spirit has been doing both in the church age and through the church itself. In John 16 v 7,8 and 13 it says the Spirit will reprove the world of sin, and of their need for the righteousness of Christ and of the judgment to come as each person will stand before the living God. We also mention that the Spirit is a person and not a force or energy to be tapped into. This type of false teaching is prevalent in apostate Christianity.

It is seen in verse 9 that signs and wonders are characteristic of the false teachers and deceivers of the end-times. Verse 10-12 describe God giving people who have rejected his Son a delusion to believe "the lie". The lie is the belief that through physical and spiritual evolution we can become gods.

In closing this chapter we want to consider briefly the conditions and timing of the rapture versus the coming of Christ at the end of the 7 year tribulation. While the scriptures seem to indicate that we will not know the exact day of the rapture they are very clear that the true Church will recognize the day as it approaches. Let's read Hebrews 10 v 25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together (with true Christians not false professors), as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching (the rapture and Daniel's 70th week).

The stage is being set, the actors are taking their places as the drama of the 7 year tribulation approaches. The church age is near its end. That the world will not recognize what is happening is also clear. The day of the Lord will overtake them as a thief because they ignored the warnings just as they did in Noah's day. The world is saying "peace and safety" when sudden destruction is pending.