Are we Approaching the Decisive Year-week?
Great excitement prevails world-wide among many Christians who are awaiting what could be the beginning of a decisive year-week on 30 Sept./1 Oct. To Israel, this coming Rosh Hashanah is the beginning of a seven-year cycle which will end in Sept. 2015. In the midst of dark war clouds and an extremely uncertain future, many of them are hoping for the coming of the Messiah. Evangelical Christians also expect His coming.
There are various reasons why we should regard the coming year-week as highly significant:
The last generation. It will be the last full year-week (30 Sept. 2008 to 13 Sept. 2015) within the framework of the last generation of 70 years since Israel's restoration in 1948 (Luke 21:28-32; Ps. 90:10). This generation will end in May 1918. For a complete discussion of Israel's generations and year-weeks see http://www.bibleguidance.co.za/Engarticles/Times.htm
Signs in the sun and moon. Information on the four blood moons of 2014 and 2015 also emphasise the prophetic significance of the next year-week. Read our article on eclipses of the sun and moon: http://www.bibleguidance.co.za/Weekly/74%20Bloodmoons2.htm
Year of Jubilee. It is obvious that a Jubilee will be proclaimed in Israel when the Messiah comes. A Jubilee is the 50th year after a cycle of seven year-weeks, totalling 49 years (cf. Lev. 25:8-10). In this year, slaves should be set free and all land in Israel returned to its original owners. When the Messiah comes, all Israel will be delivered from their spiritual bondage and take possession of the entire Promised Land.
Sir Isaac Newton, a renowned scientist and devout Bible student, conducted an intensive study of the Bible books Daniel and Revelation. He produced compelling evidence that the second coming of Christ will occur at the end of a 49-year cycle and therefore introduce a Jubilee Year. He bases his view on Daniel 9:25: "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks..." According to him, this period applies to both the first and second comings of the Messiah. In a previous article we discussed the application of the 49 prophetic years on the first coming of Christ: http://www.bibleguidance.co.za/Weekly/73%20Revealing.htm
The 49-year countdown to the second coming of Christ commenced the moment when Israel gained control over Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, which allows them to restore and expand the city. That happened on 7th June 1967 during the Six Days War when Israel captured the Old City. If 49 prophetic years of 360 days each (17640 days) are reckoned from 7th June 1967, the period will expire on 23 September 2015 on the Gregorian calendar. That will coincide with the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) of that year, which is also the day, close to the beginning of a year-week, when a Jubilee Year may start (see Lev. 25:8-10). 13 Sept. 2015 will be the first day of a new year-week while 23 Sept. will be the 10th day of Tishri on the Jewish calendar. By then, Israel will be reconciled with their Messiah and enter His promised reign of peace.
If this premise is correct, the year-week starting on 30 Sept./1 Oct. this year will be the 70th year-week of Daniel 9:24-27. We do not know the exact moment (the day or hour) when Jesus will come to take His bride away. What we do know is that the Antichrist will be revealed shortly afterwards to establish his evil rule for seven prophetic years (2520 days), at the end of which Christ will destroy him when He comes again.
Daniel's prophetic calendar enables us to arrive at the exact date of Christ's first coming on Israel's lunar calendar and on the Gregorian solar calendar. If Isaac Newton's exegesis of Daniel 9:25 is correct one may envisage a fixed programme of end-time events during the last days after Jerusalem's restoration from its downtrodden state which lasted for many centuries. We are on the threshold of the last seven years of this period. Will that be the 70th year-week of Daniel?
Prof. Johan Malan, Middelburg, South Africa (July 2008)