Nelson Walters www.thegospelintheendtimes.com
Author: Are We Ready for Jesus? How to prepare for his return (2015)
Time is like a merchant’s scale. Events pile up on the light end until the accumulated weight of them unbalances the scale. We have come to call this the “tipping point.” The seventieth week of Daniel, sometimes known as the “Tribulation,” is divided into two halves of forty two months each. Events at the midpoint of the Tribulation will tip the scale of world history. When this point is reached we will descend into a period of unspeakable horror known as the Great Tribulation or the Time of Jacob’s Distress.
I have heard a sound of terror, of dread, and there is no peace. Ask now, and see if a male can give birth. Why do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in childbirth? And why have all faces turned pale? ‘Alas! For that day is great, there is none like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s distress, but he will be saved from it. (Jer. 30: 5-7 NASB)
I think that right now events are already being piled on the scale of time. Within the last 66 years since the recreation of the nation of Israel we have seen the world steadily darkening. The fifties saw the advent of television (mass deception),the sixties saw the sexual revolution, the seventies saw the resumption of child sacrifice (abortion), the eighties saw growth of materialism (idolatry), the nineties witnessed the emergence of the internet, denial of absolute truth and “political correctness” and the twenty first century saw the rise of Islam. Each subsequent weight has brought us closer to the tipping point.
These events are only preliminary. The heftiest weights to be placed upon the scale of time will be those that are prophesied in Daniel 8 (the vision of the ram and the goat), Daniel 11: 21-45, Revelation 6 (the first four Seals) and Matthew 24 and Luke 21 (the Beginning of the Birth Pangs.) These events include deception by false messiahs, war, rumors of war, disturbances, economic collapse, famine, plagues, terrors, signs in the heavens death and “seismos” (either earthquakes or nuclear explosions, see Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes). The combined chaos of these world-wide events will finally tip the scale and usher in the time of Jacob’s distress.
At the Midpoint from Heaven’s Perspective
Because the midpoint of the Tribulation is such a pivotal moment in the history of man, the Bible “time stamps” that moment in several passages. Daniel views this time from the perspective of heaven:
Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time. (Dan. 12: 1 NASB)
Revelation also views this moment:
And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying,
Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.
And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Rev. 12: 7-17 NASB)
Notice both Daniel and Revelation show that Michael the Archangel arises at this time. We learn from Revelation that he stands up to do battle with Satan, overcomes him and casts the devil and his demon followers to the earth. Daniel clarifies that this event ushers in the Great Tribulation which means that Satan is cast down at the midpoint of Daniel’s seventieth week. Revelation also shows that it is Satan’s wrath at being cast down that leads to the persecution of the Jews (“the woman who gave birth to the male child”) and later the Christians.
I also notice with great interest the role that current day Christians play in the fall of Satan. They helped overcome him by the blood of the Lamb, their testimony and their willingness to face death. When we discuss spiritual warfare, most Christians view it as a defensive struggle. Obviously God plans for us to take the offense! We discuss this passage and concept in depth in my new book Are We Ready for Jesus? (2015).
Another question we must ask about Michael is what does he arise from? What has he been doing? Might he be “the restrainer” from 2 Thess. 2: 6 who currently is holding back the Antichrist? His rising to fight Satan and his demons ushers in the Great Tribulation. Might his rising also allow the Antichrist to be revealed? In Daniel 10 we learn spiritual warfare is a major function of his ministry. Michael had been fighting the Prince of Persia, a demonic being.
Thus But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. (Dan. 10: 13 NASB)
Michael is a spiritual being. As such he is seen struggling with other spiritual beings, the Prince of Persia (in Dan. 10) and Satan (in Rev. 12). Is it likely that who or what he is restraining is also a spiritual being? I believe it is. I believe it’s the Beast that rises from the abyss. (Rev. 11: 7 , Rev. 17: 8). This Beast is a mirror image of Satan and it is released from the abyss as Michael leaves to do war with Satan and his demons. Once free this Beast possesses the man who will be Antichrist and empowers him to accomplish the unspeakable evil of the Great Tribulation.
Scripture gives us a glimpse behind the curtain to see events from heavens perspective. In the next post we will examine the midpoint of the tribulation from Earth’s perspective.