"Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city …" — Danieli9:24
I'm not setting a date. Frankly, I think it's too late for that, and my position is simply "any day now."
We know the rapture is a rescue. From what will the church need to be rescued? I seriously doubt that it’s a physical threat, for instance, the unleashing of a worldwide persecution. As long as “to live is Christ and to die is gain” is operative, we need not fear those who can destroy the body. But the invasion of earth by a few billion extremely malicious spiritual entities is a different story. We’ve been under rather limited spiritual attack – raging and nearly uncontrollable anger, filthy thoughts that persist, nameless dread, discouragement, temptation. These things sweep over us and we wonder, “where did that come from??” But it’s limited – restrained. When Satan and his minions are released in this world, it will apparently be WITHOUT RESTRAINT! They will be seeking embodiment (read Luke 8:29-31). Think about that – life on this planet will become extremely unpleasant.
The Magog invasion appears to be next, and many wonder how this can be if Israel is supposed to be dwelling securely, without gates or bars, when this attack takes place. This is, to me, a huge mystery. Trump's "Peace Plan" may be part of the solution; we'll simply have to wait and see.
The "Daily sacrifice"? or "The Blameless"?
There's some mystery about "the daily" which Daniel said would be taken away (see Daniel 12:11). Many translations supply the word "sacrifice" (which is not in the original) to suggest that the Temple must be conducting Old Testament daily sacrifices, which are then ended when "The Antichrist" comes on the scene. This is problematic.
The Hebrew word rendered "daily" is tamiyd (Strong's H8548) and has as its primary meaning the idea of continuance or continual (as opposed to "periodic" as the word "daily" would suggest). Its first mention is in Exodus 25:30 in relation to the showbread. We can see how the commandment concerning the showbread was observed in Jewish history, but strangely, the meaning of the symbol is a mystery. One might think that twelve loaves of wheat bread would represent the twelve tribes of Israel, but the Jewish sages were apparently reluctant to offer such a conclusion, and certainly demurred from doing so dogmatically. Even the renowned Maimonides said, "I do not know the object of the table with the bread upon it continually, and up to this day I have not been able to assign any reason to this commandment."*
Also, it seems odd that the translators would choose the word "daily" since the bread was always present but was replaced weekly, not every day.
One alternative is that "the daily" is a cryptic reference to the true believers, whose lives are seen by God as daily sacrifices (per Romans 12:1), and that the "taking away" is the rapture. Consistent with this is an insight provided by Tom Bigbee, who writes:
What if "the-daily", HaTamid (H8548) was incorrectly translated from Aramaic or a scribal error changed the Mem to a Dalet and should have been a noun version of HaTamim, from the same root word, meaning the-blameless (H8549) (as a noun, rendered 22 times in NAS)? Then consider this translation:And from the time that the blameless shall be taken away, it will be 1290 days until the detestable thing that causes horror.
I would suggest that it might also be "...1290 days of the detestable thing that causes horror."
A reasonable inference from Daniel 12:11 might be that "the daily" is taken away and the abomination of desolation is set up at the same time. That is, the structure of the verse does not suggest a time delay between the two events. However, that may not be correct, and it's possible that the removal of the blameless begins a 45-day (or so) process that culminates in the setting up of the Abomination and the beginning of the final diaspora. The Abomination then stands for 1,290 days.
Since this "taking away" occurs near the beginning of the final diaspora, it at least appears consistent with what's signified in Revelation 12:5-6 where the child is caught up and the woman flees. We don't know yet; we can only wait and see.
While we're waiting, you might want to read Rapture: TBD? by Greg Lauer. He makes the point that God is not "moving" or "adjusting" the time of the rapture, nor is He delaying or tarrying. Also, the Rapture Index Score has nudged up again, for those who may need a reminder of the lateness of the hour.
The following timeline is based on the conjecture that the covenant will be confirmed and the final seven years will begin on February 21, 2019. The operative word is conjecture; I am not setting a date. (But I'm also not buying any more green bananas.) I selected this date because the "day of blessing" lands on Shemini Atzeret, which is October 17, 2022 and as good a day as any.
The conversion of the four fasts of the Jews from days of grief and mourning to days of joy and gladness is prophesied in Zechariah 8:19. Obviously, there are many ways this particular prophecy can be fulfilled, and we will only know in retrospect how it will be done.
Daniel's final seven years is not all "tribulation" - nor is it 3½ years of "tribulation" followed by 3½ years of "great tribulation." We know from Rev. 13:5 that "the beast" only has authority for 42 months. That's 3½ years. Since this is right after the rapture (Rev. 12:12) it would certainly be reasonable to ask, "if the beast is only in power for 42 months, who takes over after that?"
My conjecture is that the Abomination of Desolation is put in place at the beginning of Daniel's final week. It seems logical that if Satan falls from heaven at the time of the rapture (Rev. 12:1-9), and he has "great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time" (Rev. 12:12), there would be no reason to delay setting up the Abomination for 42 months, which would be the middle of the "week" and the time his authority expires (Rev 13:5).
The "woman" (most probably true Israel) flees to the wilderness (many suggest either Petra or Bozrah) while the planet experiences 3½ years of pervasive and escalating misery (the trumpet and bowl judgments). The earthquake at the time of the resurrection of the two witnesses after their 1,260-day ministry (Rev. 11:13) is quite possibly the same as the earthquake in Zechariah 14:4. When Jesus subsequently reclaims Jerusalem, the beast and his crowd are forced out. Jesus then puts an end to the "Beast worship system" - sacrifice and offering - while His enemies flee north to take their final stand at Armageddon, where they are destroyed (thank God!!) by the brightness of His coming. That day is the 1,335th day in Daniel 12:12.
We need to be careful with Daniel's use of numbers in making a distinction between a span of days with an identified beginning or end, and a specific day identified by a number. Specifically, Daniel 12:12 speaks of the 1,335th day. Popular eschatology, probably beginning with either Walvoord or Lindsey, arbitrarily chooses the middle of the final seven years as a reference point for the beginning of a 1,335-day period. This is simply not warranted; they made this up to support a model. There is no compelling reason for seeing this day, and the beginning of blessing, as any day other than the 1,335th day from Day #1, rather than counting 1,335 days from Day #1260. If Lindsey were correct, then this final day of blessing would be Day #2595, which is 55 days after the final "week" according to the calendar.
NOTES: All dates are local in Jerusalem; Gregorian dates are 24 hours beginning at midnight following the proper Hebrew date change which occurs at sunset. Jerusalem time is GMT +3 — Eastern Daylight Savings time is GMT -4.
In Daniel 12:7 the phrase "power of the holy people has been completely shattered" (NKJV) seems to be a rather poor rendering. The NET version — "the power of the one who shatters the holy people has been exhausted" — may be closer to the intended meaning. The Septuagint simply says "when the dispersion is ended." That will be after 3½ "times."
It is because of the seven years of weapons-burning (Ezekiel 39:9) that the Magog invasion is believed to occur early in the 70th week.