End of the Age: 2024?

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The signs in the anticipated prophetic events section of my “End of the Age: 2020?” commentary did not take place in my suggested time frame.  Had my basic assumptions been correct, it seems that those events should have occurred during Passover week: April 10-18, 2017.

European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) 2014-2020My hypothesis was that the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) could have been the 7-year covenant or agreement of Daniel 9:27a, which appeared to confirm, strengthen and increase a prior covenant: the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP).  Both 7-year accords—the ENP: January 1, 2007, to December 31, 2013 and the ENI: January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2020—have involved many nations, including Israel.

Many cannot believe it is possible that the final 7 years of this age could have begun if:

  • there is no third temple on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem,
  • a “Pre-tribulation” Rapture has not taken place, and
  • the Gog/Magog hordes have not attacked Israel.

I am convinced that none of these are prerequisites for the final 7 years to begin, as explained in Third Temple, Rapture & Gog/Magog.

The following two events, prophesied by Jesus, presumably will make international news soon after they occur in the midst of the prophesied 70th Week of years, and then the Great Tribulation period will commence:

  • armies or enemies surrounding and/or attacking Jerusalem, and
  • people fleeing out of the region of Judea to the mountains (Luke 21:20,21).

Since those and other anticipated prophetic events did not take place in 2017, nor at any other time during the 2014-2020 time frame, this nullifies the notion that the European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) was the prophesied 7-year covenant of Daniel 9:27a.  Assuming that it was not, then at some point there would have to be another 7-year covenant or agreement to fulfill this prophecy.

Indeed, during 2020—the final year of the 7-year ENI—the European Parliament and EU Member States met several times to decide whether to extend the funding process for the European Union for another 7 years.  Proposals by the European Commission were discussed during each meeting.

On November 10, 2020, an agreement was reached for the EU’s Next Long-Term Budget & NextGenerationEU.  A combined package of €1.8 trillion, the largest ever financed through the EU budget, was approved for the next 7-year period of 2021-2027.  Furthermore, since December 17, 2020, the European Commission has been on-board with the EU’s plan, as described here: European Commission welcomes the adoption of the EU's long-term budget for 2021-2027.  Thus, it is possible that January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2027 is the final 7-year period of this age.

However, there is another possibility to consider.  It is conceivable that the final 7 years of this age, prior to Jesus’ return to earth to rule and reign, already has begun—on September 23, 2017—and that the final 3˝ years of that time period, a horrific time in human history, will commence in the Spring of 2021.  Although a very lengthy explanation is in order, it still would be advisable to stock up on food and non-food supplies, which probably will become increasingly scarce as time rolls on, even if we have not yet entered the final 7 years of this age:

final 7 years

First, consider the prophesied 70 weeks of years, described by the angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel almost 6 centuries B.C.  This prophecy applied to Daniel’s holy people, Israel, and to their holy city, Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24).  The final (70th) week of those prophesied 70 weeks of years will be the final 7 years of this age, prior to the return of Jesus to rule and reign over the earth.

A common assumption, particularly among those who have studied Bible prophecy, has been that the final (70th) week of the prophesied 70 weeks of years is equivalent to the week of 7 years that begins with the confirmation of a man-made covenant (involving Israel and other nations) for one week of years:

Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week.... (Daniel 9:27a—NKJV)
However, what if those two 7-year periods do not coincide exactly?  That is, perhaps the following two 7-year periods are not identical, even though they may overlap:
  1. the 7-year span of the man-ordained agreement, which confirms a prior man-made covenant; and
  2. the 7-year span of the God-ordained 70th Week, which confirms a prior God-made covenant and constitutes the final 7 years of the 70 weeks of years spoken about by the angel Gabriel, God’s messenger to the prophet Daniel.

Many would consider this speculation—that the two 7-year periods in question might be different spans of time—to be implausible and improbable.  Yet, it is a fact that Satan counterfeits countless things of God to mislead and confuse people and to throw them off-track.  Thus, it seems reasonable to contemplate the possibility that Satan might try to complicate and disarrange the timing of the actual final 7 years of this age so that it would be less likely for people to know when this time period has begun and is transpiring.

Prophetically, it most commonly is assumed that the satanically-inspired Antichrist—that is, the man of lawlesssness who will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped (2 Thessalonians 2:3b,4)—is the man who will confirm a covenant with many for one week of 7 years (Daniel 9:27a).  Perhaps this would be done with the intent of counterfeiting God’s preordained timing of the prophesied 70th Week of years: the final 7 years of this age.

However, God would be opposed to a 7-year man-ordained accord, involving Israel, because His chosen people (the Israelites) would have entered into the covenental agreement without having consulted Him and without having gained His approval.  It is shown in the Old Testament book of the prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 28:15-19, 57:8,9) that God does not like it whenever this happens.  Pertaining to the 7-year man-ordained accord, the Israelites would be relying on a man to protect them from their enemies, rather than looking to God to guard and defend them.

God’s calendar vs. man’s calendar

God’s Hebraic calendar is based on specific Spring and Fall festivals and other holy days that take place each year.  He said, “These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the LORD...” (Leviticus 23:2).  He does not abide by a human-made Gregorian calendar, which runs annually from January 1 to December 31.

Thus, the span of the artificial, man-made European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI), running from January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2020 (exactly 7 years), did not synchronize or harmonize with God’s calendar of Hebraic feast and holy days.  Neither does the man-made combination of agreements implemented by the European Union in 2020, which includes the EU’s Next Long-Term Budget & NextGenerationEU, spanning the 7-year period January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2027.  More about that is described here: European Commission welcomes the adoption of the EU's long- term budget for 2021-2027.

Of course, it was God who sent the angel Gabriel to tell Daniel about the 70 weeks of years, pertaining to Israel and Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24).  As such, it is God who has determined when the final (70th) week of years of that time period would begin.  Indeed, a great many events in Israel’s history were connected to God’s Hebraic calendar, so it would make sense that the same would apply to the 70th Week of years.

Therefore, to get a better idea of the actual timing of the final 7 years of this age, it would be appropriate to look at the beginning.  Ever since the beginning, God has used lights in the expanse of the sky—the sun, the moon and the stars—as “signs to mark seasons and days and years(Genesis 1:14).

season of Teshuvah

Teshuvah, meaning “return” or “repentance,” is a 40-day season each year that fits into the Hebraic calendar.  Most likely, this was the period of forty days and forty nights when Jesus was fasting in the desert, after which He was being tempted by the devil.  (Some denominations feel that this was the season of Lent from Ash Wednesday to Easter, but it was not.)  Yet, Jesus resisted every temptation (Matthew 4:1-11), which was an example to all who believe in Him and follow Him.  We are to put our heavenly Father’s desires first and our own personal desires last.

40-Day Season of Teshuvah

The season of Teshuvah begins on Av 30 (at sunset following Av 29), thirty days before the Feast of Trumpets / Rosh haShanah begins on Tishri 1 (at sunset following Elul 29), and ends on the Day of Atonement / Yom Kippur (Tishri 10).  The season of Teshuvah always begins on a new moon, which is an example of how God uses lights in the sky (particularly the sun and the moon) as “signs to mark seasons and days and years” (Genesis 1:14).

During the month of Elul, one is to examine one’s life, to repent and turn from one’s sins, and to restore broken relationships with others and with God, knowing that the “Day of Judgment” (Rosh haShanah) is approaching.  On each day of Elul, a shofar (horn or trumpet) is blown, reminding everyone to repent because the Feast of Trumpets / Rosh haShanah is drawing near.

Psalm 27, and often Ezekiel 33:1-7, are read.  Psalm 27 states that the Lord is our “salvation” when our “enemies attack” us, “sheltering” us and keeping us “safe” in the “day of trouble” (Psalm 27:1,2,5).  Ezekiel 33:1-7 pertains to the blowing of the trumpet to “warn the people” of the “...sword coming against the land...” (33:3).  For whoever does not heed the warning and loses his life, “...his blood will be on his own head” (that is, it is his own fault) because “if he had taken warning, he would have saved himself” (33:4,5).

In August 2017, a significant total solar eclipse, with the zone of totality observable only in the United States, took place on Av 29 (August 21).  It ushered in the 40-day season of Teshuvah, which started at sunset following Av 29 when Av 30 began.  It very well may have been a strong and urgent warning, not only to the U.S. but to all the nations of the world, that a sincere repentance was expected by God—or else severe judgments would follow.

total solar eclipse: August 21, 2017

Total solar eclipse across the United States on August 21, 2017On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse crossed the entire United States, from Oregon to South Carolina.  The U.S. was the only country that was on the eclipse’s path of totality, which was seen by observers in 12 states (and maybe in a tiny portion of 2 other states).

The last total eclipse that crossed the U.S., from coast to coast, was in 1918.  However, the August 21, 2017 eclipse was the first total eclipse that was exclusive only to the U.S. in the nation’s history.  These two videos provide more information:

Everything You Need To Know
about the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse

(video length = 1˝ minute)
     2017 Total Solar
Eclipse in the U.S.

(video length = 48 seconds)

sign of Jonah

Jesus spoke about the sign of the prophet Jonah.  Just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish or whale (Jonah 1:17), Jesus said that He would be three days and three nights in the grave or “heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:39,40).

Interestingly, ancient cuneiform tablets, discovered in the 19th century, describe events in ancient Nineveh.  One event was the Bur-Sagale or Assyrian total eclipse, which has been verified by NASA as having taken place in 763 B.C.

Evidently, the eclipse passed directly over Nineveh just before Jonah arrived.  This very likely was a primary reason why the people of Nineveh were ready and willing to repent when God sent Jonah there to warn them that they had only forty days left to repent (Jonah 3:1-10).

Possible cancellation of the United States
Click on image to see a larger view.
It very well could be, then, that the total solar eclipse of August 21, 2017, was a warning sign to America—which has become an extremely politically and socially divided nation since 2017—to repent during the 40-day season of Teshuvah...or else.  Realistically, though, it was difficult to imagine that such a massive, coast-to-coast repentance would take place and that the majority of the people in the United States would unite and turn exclusively to the one, true God.

Not only are Americans deeply divided in their pro-God vs. anti-God views, they also are deeply divided in other ways, such as conservativism vs. liberalism, lawfulness vs. anarchy, legal vs. illegal immigration, females vs. males, and along racial lines.  All of these divisions increased considerably and substantially during the presidential election year of 2020, which also was the first year of the terrible and dreadful COVID-19 worldwide pandemic.

What Jesus said about division is extremely concerning:

Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. (Matthew 12:25)
Ancient Israel is an example to all the nations of the world, including the USA.  In ancient Israel, many of the leaders and the people gradually began transgressing against God’s covenantal laws, and then they started embracing and worhiping gods other than the one, true God.  God’s compassion and mercy lasted for quite awhile; His desire was for the people to repent and turn back to Him.

Balance scales of God's mercy and judgmentHowever in due time, when they did not repent of their ways, His benevolent mercy changed to harsh judgment, which fell upon them (Daniel 9:9-15; Jeremiah 15:6-8).  This actually applies not just to Israel but to every nation and to all people (Jeremiah 18:7-12; Hebrews 10:26,27).  God’s gracious mercy gradually wanes, and eventually it is out-weighed by His severe judgment.

Following the total solar eclipse that essentially “sliced America in half,” further stark warnings seem to have occurred, perhaps portending the beginning of God’s pronounced and perilous judgment on the U.S., along with other nations such as neighboring Mexico.  Possible warnings may have included the following disasters, all of which took place or commenced within a month of the solar eclipse of August 21:

  • Aug. 25: Hurricane Harvey made landful in Texas as a Category 4 storm.  It caused catastrophic damage to eastern portions of TX, along the Gulf Coast.
  • Sep. 6: Huge wildfires in CA, OR, WA, ID, MT, NV, UT, WY and CO were raging.  They lasted for several weeks and caused catastrophic damage.  They culminated in the October 2017 Northern California wildfires, burning throughout most of October and including the Napa Sonoma fires in the famed wine country of No. CA.
  • Sep. 7: The Chiapas earthquake, with Magnitude 8.2, struck off the southern coast of Mexico.  It generated a tsunami with waves of 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 meters) above tide level.  It was the strongest earthquake recorded in Mexico in a century, as well as the strongest earthquake in the world in 2017.
  • Sep. 7: Hurricane Irma pummeled the Caribbean Islands as a Category 5 storm.  It caused extensive and widespread devastation.
  • Sep. 10: Hurricane Irma made two landfalls in Florida, as a Category 4 and 3 storm.  Moving northward along the west coast, it caused catastrophic damage to much of the state.
  • Sep. 19: The Central Mexico earthquake, with Magnitude 7.1, struck southeast of Mexico City.  It caused considerable destruction in the Mexican states of Puebla and Morelos and in the Greater Mexico City area, where more than 40 buildings collapsed.
  • Sep. 19: Hurricane Maria roared across the Caribbean island of Dominica as a Category 5 storm.  It caused catastrophic damage throughout the entire island.
  • Sep. 20: Hurricane Maria made a direct hit on Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm.  It caused calamitous devastation across the island, from which it may never fully recover.

Then on Oct. 1—the day following the final day of the season of Teshuvah, Sep. 30, which was the last day available for large-scale repentance—there was a horrendous, unprecedented, record-breaking shooting attack in the U.S.:

  • Oct. 1: A Las Vegas shooting took place, resulting in 58 deaths and 851 injuries.  The killer fired from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel onto approximately 22,000 people below, who were attending the Route 91 Harvest Festival.  It was the worst and deadliest mass shooting committed by an individual in modern United States history.  (Also, see 2017 Las Vegas shooting.)

In 2020, there were several record-breaking disasters in many parts of the world and in the U.S.  These resulted in countless injuries and deaths, famines, plagues, economic plunges and other catastrophes.  Here are just a few of them:

In time, it seems likely that the U.S. will become proccupied with innumerable problems and hardships, well beyond the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and 2021.  Potentially, this might prevent the U.S. from aiding and protecting Israel in a prophesied attack, which could be near.

sign in the sky: September 23, 2017

Within the final ten “Days of Awe” during the season of Teshuvah in 2017, it seems that God had prepared another extremely amazing sign in the sky (Genesis 1:14), besides the total solar eclipse that crossed the United States on August 21.  Seemingly, this was another manifest declaration and notification by God.  Indeed, it is quite possible, in His unique time frame, that it marked the beginning of the final 7 years of this age.

On September 23, 2017, there was a combination of two constellations, stars, planets, the sun and the moon, and other signs in the sky.  It appeared very likely that this was another example of how God uses lights in the expanse of the sky—the sun, the moon and the stars—as “signs to mark seasons and days and years(Genesis 1:14).

This wondrous display in the sky happened to take place on the Saturday (Sabbath Day) between the Feast of Trumpets (Rosh haShanah) and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur).  That day was Shabbat Shuvah—a day of notable significance during the season of Teshuvah.

Shuvah means “Return!”  It is a special day for people to be encouraged to turn from their wayward paths, remember God’s holy covenant, return to Him, and obey His precepts and ordinances.  (Incidentally, it seems that the Shabbat Shuvah of September 26, 2020 also was an extremely significant day.)  It could have been God’s final urging and warning for the U.S. and the world to begin a process of repentance and turning back to Him—which, unfortunately, does not appear to have happened.

Constellations Virgo and Leo
Constellations Virgo and Leo
Click on images to see larger views.
The exceptional combination of heavenly bodies in the sky on September 23, 2017, was so rare that it is estimated to occur only about every 7,000 years.  It is very likely that these remarkable signs in the sky (Genesis 1:14) fulfilled the first couple of verses of Revelation 12, with “the woman” being a prophetic representation of Israel:

A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head.  She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. (Revelation 12:1,2)
The 9 stars of Leo (the “lion”), plus the 3 planets Venus, Mars and Mercury (resembling 3 stars), appeared to form the 12 stars of a “crown” above the head of Virgo (the “virgin”).  From our perspective on earth, the sun (during the day) appeared to be near her head with the first tiny sliver of a new moon (during the night) near her feet.

Also, from our perspective, the planet Jupiter was in apparent retrograde motion, which is the perceived, limited reversal of the motion of a planet as seen from Earth.  Jupiter appeared to be moving back and forth in the “womb” of Virgo (the virgin), for nine months, as if “she” were pregnant.

There are many “cyclical” prophecies in the Bible, meaning that God can cause prophecies to have mutiple fulfillments, on different levels.  So, among other things, Virgo could represent Israel and also the Israeli virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus (Matthew 1:20-23).  Leo (latin for “lion”) could represent Judah (Genesis 49:9), the son of Jacob/Israel, as well as Judah’s descendant Jesus, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5).

As stated before, God uses lights in the sky (particularly the sun and the moon) as “signs to mark seasons and days and years(Genesis 1:14).  So it would be appropriate that the day following Rosh haShanah, on God’s calendar of Hebraic Feast and Holy Days, His pre-ordained final 7 years of this age would have commenced with the signs in the sky on September 23, 2017.  If indeed this was the case, it would be advisable to stock up on food and non-food supplies because they probably will become increasingly scarce as the middle of the 7 years approaches:

red dragon

The prophecy describes another sign to appear:

Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads.  His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.  The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. (Revelation 12:3,4)
In the time of Yeshua/Jesus (the son of Mary), Satan looked for ways to kill Him.  Eventually, Satan influenced Judas to betray Jesus.  Then Jesus was interrogated, humiliated, flogged and crucified on Passover.  It seemed that Satan had won.

However, after three days, Jesus was resurrected from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits (commonly known as “Easter Sunday”).  For forty days, Jesus appeared to apostles and to others, proving that He was alive (Acts 1:3); and then He was taken up to heaven in their sight (1:9).  Jesus was the first of many who, having placed their faith in Him, eventually will be caught up into heaven as He was (Mark 16:19).

Red dragon between the legs of Virgo, perhaps a binary star solar system
Red dragon between the legs of Virgo, perhaps Nihiru or Planet X
Click on images to see larger views.
There also appeared to be something between the “legs” of Virgo on September 23, 2017.  Evidently, it was a binary solar system that could be viewed only with an infrared telescope.  The two stars in the system seemed to resemble the two eyes on the face of a fiery red dragon.

Others have said it was Nibiru or Planet X which, allegedly, it is a large planet with a very long elliptical orbit around the sun.  They claim that at some point, it supposedly will pass near the earth—or even crash into the earth—causing untold destruction.

In Revelation 12:3,4a, it is seen that Satan (the “red dragon”) sweeps a third of his “stars” or evil angels out of the sky or heaven and flings them to the earth.  Presumably, they are sent to have a negative effect on the earth and a detrimental influence on people everywhere.

It would seem that the length of time that these evil angels will have a negative effect on many people in the world will be about 3˝ years, at which time many in Israel will flee to a place where they will be cared for by God for 1,260 days, the final 3˝ years of this age:

The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. (Revelation 12:6)

Jesus even gave a warning to Israelites in certain locations to flee, just prior to the beginning of the Great Tribulation, when they observe certain things happening in Jerusalem and Judea (Matthew 24:15-21; Mark 13:14-19; Luke 21:20-24).

Mysterious booms in the U.S.For several years in various places of the world, there have been bright flashes of light (seen only at night), followed immediately by mysterious loud booms and then brief shakings.  Their frequency escalated in the U.S. in 2017, especially during the final few months of the year.  These included booms/shakings in San Diego, CA & Bridgewater, NJ, in Centreville, AL, and in Denver, CO, as well as in numerous other locations.  The mystery flashes of light, booms and shakings continued after 2017.  For instance, in early 2019 they happened in various places across the United States, from Arizona to Rhode Island, including Louisville, Kentucky.  There were several in 2020, including in Oswego County, NY on December 7 and across the Ohio Valley on December 11.

It has been suggested that many of these booms were and are caused by supernatural beings being flung out of the sky by Satan (Revelation 12:3,4a), then traveling through the atmosphere at an exceedingly high rate of speed.  If so, presumably when one of them enters the lower atmosphere, there is a bright flash of light, a loud boom, and then a strong vibration and shaking of the atmosphere and the ground.  Once they reach the earth, there is no telling what all they are doing once they get here.  Most likely, they are being instrumental in leading the world down a perplexing and bewildering pathway toward the Great Tribulation.

war in heaven

It should be noted that Revelation 12:3,4 is not the same event as Revelation 12:7-9, described here:

And there was war in heaven.  Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.  But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.  The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.  He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. (Revelation 12:7-9)

This will take place immediately after many in Judea and Jerusalem flee to a desert region, where they will be taken care of by God for 1,260 days (Revelation 12:6) or 3˝ years on the Hebraic calendar.  So at the beginning of the final 3˝ years of this age, Satan and the remainder of his evil angels will battle with the archangel Michael and his angels; and Satan himself, along with his evil angels, will be hurled permanently to the earth (Revelation 12:7-9).  Unfortuntately, after this, Michael the restrainer and historical protector of Israel, no longer will give Israel any further assistance and protection.

A time of woe can be expected on the earth and the sea because the devil, filled with fury, will know that his time is short (Revelation 12:12b).  He will have only “a time, times and half a time” (or “a year, two years and half a year” = 3˝ years or 1,260 days) to unleash his ultimate devastation and destruction upon the earth; it will be the same length of time that the remnant of “the woman” who had fled Judea and Jerusalem (12:6) will be protected, by God, out of Satan’s reach (12:14).

If the United States—the main protector of Israel—were to be preoccupied with or to have its main attention directed toward its own natural, human-caused and/or socioeconomic disasters, this potentially could open the door for Israel to be attacked by its enemies.  Whenever this happens, Jerusalem will be surrounded by armies, and people will flee (perhaps to a mountainous desert area like Petra), thus fulfilling Luke 21:20,21 and Revelation 12:6 and commencing the final 1,260 days = 3˝ years of this age.

So during the final 3˝ years of this age, Satan and his evil angelic host will wreak immeasurable and unprecedented havoc in the world.  Most of this will take place during the Great Tribulation period and will continue into the day of vengeance period.  Fortunately, Jesus will return physically to the earth, at the end of that final 3˝-year period, to rule and reign over the whole world—in perfect righteousness, justice, lawfullness, peace and love—during the Millennium.

first 3˝ years

It is conceivable, then, that the first 3˝ years of the final 7 years of this age began back on September 23, 2017, with constellations Virgo and Leo being the “great and wondrous sign” in the sky of Revelation 12:1.  This would have aligned with God’s Hebraic calendar, since that date was the day immediately following Rosh HaShanah, observed during the two days of September 21 and 22 (with the first sliver of the new moon not being observable until September 23).

This event took place on Shabbat Shuvah, which always is the Saturday/Sabbath between the Feast of Trumpets / Rosh haShanah and the Day of Atonement / Yom Kippur.  Each year, it is the main Sabbath of repentance and return.  It is a special day for people to be encouraged to turn from their wayward paths, return to God, obey God’s precepts and ordinances, and remember God’s holy covenant.

confirming a covenant

The Bible contains many references to God’s holy covenant with Abraham and Isaac, which He confirmed with Jacob/Israel, His chosen nation, as an everlasting covenant.  A major instance of this is included in King David’s psalm of thanks:

O descendants of Israel his servant, O sons of Jacob, his chosen ones.  He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.  He remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations, the covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac.  He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: "To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit." (Psalm 105:6-11)

Long ago, God engaged in a covenant with Israel.  Over time, though, Israel became disobedient and unfaithful, giving their allegiance to other gods (Judges 2:11-13; 1 Kings 11:9-11; Jeremiah 11:10-13), which is true of all nations.  These and other transgressions resulted in Israel’s covenant with God being broken.

In time, though, their true Messiah, Yeshua/Jesus came and made a new covenant with Israel and with those who have been grafted into the “olive root” of Israel (Romans 11:17).  As a whole, though, Israel has not accepted Yeshua as their eternal Messiah, nor recognized His once-for-all blood sacrifice for their sins and transgressions.  In essence, Israel has rejected the new covenant that God has provided and extended to them to renew the old covenant with them that they broke millennia ago.

It commonly is believed that it is the Antichrist who will confirm a covenant with many (including Israel) for one week of years (7 years); and in the middle of those 7 years (that is, after 3˝ years), he will bring an end to sacrifice and offering (Daniel 9:27).  Yet, in the second portion of that same verse, it appears to be another person—undoubtedly the Antichrist—who, as Jesus inferred, will be responsible for the “abomination that causes desolation” (Matthew 24:15; Mark 13:14).

Perhaps looking at the previous verse, Daniel 9:26, might help to bring some clarity.  This speaks about the Messiah (that is, Yeshua/Jesus), who was “cut-off, but not for himself.”  He was pierced, led like a lamb to the slaughter, and cut off from the land of the living for the transgressions of Israel and all of humanity (Isaiah 53:5-8).  Daniel 9:26 also describes how the people of “the prince who is to come” would destroy and desolate the city and the sanctuary (that is, Jerusalem and the temple).  The latter event occurred in 70 A.D., when the Roman army, led by Titus, beseiged and captured Jerusalem and destroyed the city and the Second Temple.

If taken literally, it would seem that the “he” who will confirm a covenant at the beginning of Daniel 9:27 will be one of the two people in the previous verse: either Messiah Yeshua/Jesus, who rose from the dead on the Feast of Firstfruits and lives today, or Emperor Titus, who died in 81 A.D.

The angel Gabriel had indicated that the 70 weeks of years were determined for and pertained to Daniel’s people and holy city: Israel and Jerusalem (Daniel 9:24).  After the gap of time of almost 2,000 years, following the end of the 69 weeks of years, it would seem appropriate that the 70th week of years would begin with something that pointed directly to Israel—which “the woman” in the sky on September 23, 2017, represented.

It would make sense, then, that the amazing sign in the sky on that date was brought about by the living Jesus/God to remind Israel—His chosen nation—that He was mercifully confirming His covenant with them once again.  It finally was time for them to understand that Yeshua/Jesus not only is their Messiah but also was their ultimate and final sacrifice for sins (1 Corinthians 5:7b), almost 2,000 years ago.  Therefore, not only would it be unnecessary for them to perform any further sacrifices and offerings, but doing so actually would be an offense to God.

sacrifices and offerings

The Israelites continued making unnecessary blood sacrifices in their Second Temple until 70 A.D., when Jerusalem and the temple were attacked and destroyed (which Jesus told His disciples would happen in Matthew 24:1,2) by the Roman army led by Titus, and most Israelites were either killed or removed.  By God’s grace, Israel became a viable nation again in 1948; however, as a whole, Israel still does not recognize Yeshua/Jesus as their Messiah and Savior, as well as the ultimate and final sacrificial offering for their sins.

In December 2018, a sacrificial altar built by the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem was dedicated.  Their intent was to perform sacrifices and offerings as a preparatory step prior to the building of the Third Temple.  Since then, sacrificial offerings have been performed on the altar, though not even one stone of a temple’s foundation has been set down.

Sanhedrin Third Temple Ritual
in Jerusalem: Altar Dedication

Sacrificial Passover lamb that will become a burnt offeringThere was a precedent for this prior to the building of the Second Temple.  An altar was built, and sacrificial burnt offerings were offered on it (Ezra 3:1-6).  This was done even though the foundation of the LORD’s temple had not yet been laid (3:6), and indeed it is happening again.  For example, in April 2019, a ceremony took place where a Passover lamb was sacrificed and burned as an offering to God.

Passover Sacrifice Service
for the Third Temple

There are numerous parallels between Jesus and the Passover lamb, which most Israelites still do not recognize.  Jesus Christ, the ultimate Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed (1 Corinthians 5:7b), and no further sacrifices are necessary, nor does God desire that these sacrifices be made.  God Himself provided the supreme sacrifice, Jesus, for the sins of Israel and of all people.  Even King David stated, long ago, that God does not delight in sacrifice or take pleasure in burnt offerings:

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. (Psalm 51:16)

In fact, it appears likely that Yeshua/Jesus, who is in control of all things, confirmed and renewed the broken covenant with Israel in September 2017.  If so, it commenced the final week of years of the overall seventy weeks of years, spoken of long ago by the angel Gabriel to Daniel (Daniel 9:24).

However, since most of the nation has not recognized the renewal of their covenant with God, and has not acknowledged that Yeshua/Jesus is their true Messiah, He may see to it that there will be no more sacrifices and offerings in Jerusalem after the middle or midst of the final week of 7 years (Daniel 9:27a).  He would not need to be in Jerusalem to do this; yet in some way He could influence it, supernaturally from heaven, to happen.  Then there will be 3˝ years remaining to complete the 70th Week, with no further sacrifices and offerings taking place during that time period.

final 3˝ years

At or near the beginning of the final 3˝ years of this age, these things will take place:

So if the sign in the sky on September 23, 2017, was the prophetic fulfillment of Revelation 12:1,2, then it seems to have been a confirmation of God’s covenant with Israel, as well as God’s indication that the final 7 years of this age had begun.  If so, it would seem that the events above—along with some other prophetic events—will take place sometime during the Spring of 2021, presumably in April and/or May.

If violence and attacks are taking place in Israel and Jerusalem at that time, it is possible that small groups of people, a few at a time rather than everyone at once, will be leaving the most dangerous areas.  Yet it also is possible, with all the disturbance and tumult going on, that reports of people fleeing to safety might not make international, or even national, news immediately.  In any case, at some point during the fleeing process, the formidable period of Great Tribulation will commence and continue for about 2˝ years, followed by the Pre-Wrath Rapture and then the frightful time of God’s horrific day of vengeance.

Jesus indicated that when those in Judea see the abomination that causes desolation—which might indicate when they “see” it in the news—then they should flee (Matthew 24:15,16; Mark 13:14).  However, it might not be reported immediately after it happens.  Tentatively, they could become aware of this later in the Spring of 2021, causing them to flee at that time.  Also, Jesus said to those in the region of Judea and Jerusalem to flee when they are surrounded by armies or enemies (Luke 21:20,21).  Once they reach their destination, they will be protected by God for 1,260 days (Revelation 12:6).

Whenever Jesus returns, ostensibly in the Fall of 2024, He will set up the Kingdom of God on earth, and rule and reign over the whole world for 1,000 years.  Yeshua/Jesus, the brilliant light at the end of a very dark tunnel, will establish a magnificent and wonderful utopia never experienced before in human history.

snatched up

Also in the prophetic vision, just before “the woman” flees and is protected by God for 1,260 days, we see this:

She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.  And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. (Revelation 12:5)
A common view has been that the “son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter” (Psalm 2:9a; Revelation 19:15) was Jesus, who indeed “was snatched up to God and to his throne” after His resurrection (Mark 16:19).  However, the Revelation 12:5 prophecy was written decades after Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension into heaven.  Therefore, it also seems to describe something that was yet to come in the future.  It would seem to indicate that another “child” of the woman will be “snatched up to heaven” at some point after the appearance of the sign of the woman in the sky.

Just as “the woman” represents a number of people—not just one person—in Israel, the “child of the woman” also would seem to represent a number of people—not just one person.  Indeed, true believers in Jesus have been grafted into the “olive root” of Israel (Romans 11:17).  Those who overcome the temptations, enticements and seductions of world, and who submit to the will of God, will be given authority to “rule the nations with an iron scepter,” along with Jesus.  Here is what Jesus said to one of the seven churches:

To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations—“He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery”—just as I have received authority from my Father. (Revelation 2:26,27)
If those being snatched up to heaven are believers in Jesus who have learned to overcome the world and its temptations and continue to do His will, we might wonder when this would happen.  Some believe that this points to a Pre-Tribulation Rapture.  Personally, I am absolutely convinced that there will not be a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, as explained in my Rapture commentary and in my Rapture Questions and Responses section.

Presumably, after a third of Satan’s “stars” (or evil angels) are flung to the earth (Revelation 12:4a), they will spend about 3˝ years disrupting people’s lives and trying to tempt people, including believers in Jesus, to stray away from God, as well as inciting societal confusion, disorder, violence and lawlessness throughout the world.  Yet, perhaps those who are able to maintain a steady focus on God, as well as maintain a consistent relationship with Him through all of the hardships, will be worthy of being caught up and away into heaven before the time of Great Tribulation begins.

Thus, being “snatched up to heaven” (Revelation 12:5b) might be a Mid-Tribulation Rapture, as it appears to take place not long before the fleeing of the woman into the desert to be taken care of by God for 1,260 days or 3˝ years:

She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter [Revelation 2:26,27].  And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.  The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days. (Revelation 12:5,6)

The latter represents a remnant of Israelis escaping Judea and Jerusalem and fleeing into the desert, where they will be taken care of by God for “a time, times and half a time” (Revelation 12:14), or “a year, two years and half a year,” which is the final 3˝ years or 1,260 days of the 70th Week.  This equates to Jesus’ warning to flee to the mountains (Matthew 24:15,16; Mark 13:14; Luke 21:20,21).  Some feel that the people will flee to Petra, a mountainous desert location in Jordan, just prior to the onset of the Great Tribulation.

Presumably, this will take place at a time of violence and destruction in Israel.  That could overshadow and delay the news of people fleeing away from the danger.  Likewise, if a relatively small number of true believers are snatched up to heaven just before this, it could take awhile for reports about this to become newsworthy in a world filled with troubles and difficulties.

It is conceivable, then, that a “firstfruits rapture” could take place for a remnant of “firstfruits believers” sometime in the Spring of 2021.  Furthermore, the following (and other) events would be expected to occur at around the same time in Israel; however, with difficulties escalating in that nation, news of the events might not might not be widely reported:

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