Rather than a final work
could you at least send a rough outline. What starts the 3.5 years, what happens in the middle, then at the end of 7 years. You can refine later, but I need something to start with.
I am traditional futurist in the basic outline of events, but with important differences, which I will elaborate later. Believe it or not, I was fully intending to get back to the outline this very day, but will go ahead and give you an even shorter version, since you’re asking for something much briefer than I thought.
The seven years begins with the event described in Dan 9:27, i.e., the confirming of the covenant (should not be translated “make a firm covenant,” but “make firm THE covenant).
This is not the creation of some new peace league with the Antichrist. It is that (Dan 11:23), but it is also much more. It is the formal, and I think international, recognition of what is called in Dan 11:28, 30, the “holy covenant.”
This tells me that the Antichrist, in tandem with other nations confirms “the holy covenant” with many. “Many” here need not mean only Jews. It could just as well mean the heads of other nations.
The covenant is not “made”; it is “confirmed”. On one side, it is indeed an unholy and presumptuous “league” that Israel enters into with the Antichrist (Dan 11:23). On the other side, it is particularly “the holy covenant” (Dan 11:28, 30) that he (the Antichrist) confirms with many.
I believe we should not rule out the possibility (I think probability) that at this point, the Antichrist is only one among many other heads of nations that have convened to decide the question of Jerusalem.
I believe we will see a situation whereby many nations, the nation of the Antichrist among them (a king of the north), will recognize, not only Israel’s right to exist, but Jewish right of access to the temple mount (for Muslims, “the Noble Sanctuary”).
In the present religious and political context, there is a huge improbability that the current impasse could ever countenance Jewish access, let alone Jewish dominance of the temple area. The literal fulfillment of the prophecies that pertain to a literal Jewish “holy place” and “daily sacrifice” on the temple mount in Jerusalem, is admittedly, against all odds. Such an unlikely scenario will require the most radical kinds of changes. Either the literal interpretation is wrong, or the end of the age will be its most dramatic vindication, since the first coming of Christ.
I won’t take the time to make the case here, but I believe that from Dan 11:23 to Dan 11:30, we have a definite chronological order of events that covers the first 3 1/2 years. Dan 11:31 is the event that Jesus says begins the tribulation (Mt 24:15, 21). It starts the last 3 1/2 years that end at Christ’s return at Armageddon. We know that the abomination starts the last half of the seven years described in Dan 9:27, because Dan 12:11 shows that this event begins the last 3 1/2 years that take us up to the time of Daniel’s personal resurrection (Dan 12:2, 13).
Notice that the standing up of Michael in Dan 12:1 marks the start of the unequaled tribulation that ends in nothing short of the resurrection (Dan 12:2). Jesus directs His disciples to read and understand Daniel’s reference to the abomination of desolation. He quotes Daniel almost verbatim to show that this event begins the great tribulation (Mt 24:15, 21 with Dan 11:31; 12:1, 11).
Dan 12:11 is particularly decisive to show that the last 3 1/2 years begins when the sacrifice is stopped, and Dan 8:11 shows that is not Messiah, but the self exalting king of Dan 11:36-37; 2Thes 2:4) who takes away the sacrifice. Remember also, it is not because the Jewish people are faithful to the covenant; it is the “place” that is holy, because this is where God has put His name. However, there is also a sense in which the Jewish people, even in their unbelief, are called “the holy people,” not in the sense of personal righteousness, of course, else there would be no “Jacob’s trouble”, but in the sense of “set apart” by the unchanging covenant of God (Zech 2:8; Ro 11:16, 29).
While Daniel describes the earthly side of this event, John’s Revelation gives us the heavenly side. According to Rev 12:7-14, the great tribulation begins with standing up of Michael to cast down Satan. From this point forward, Satan knows “his time is short” (Rev 12:12). This “short time” and the final beast’s “short space” (Rev 17:10) is manifestly the unequaled tribulation, since it marks the time of woe upon the inhabitants of the earth, and the final assault against the elect people of the covenant (Israel and the church; Dan 7:21, 25; 12:7; Rev 6:11; 13:5).
This clearly future event (see Dan 12:1 with Rev 12:7) makes the way for the kingdom of God to the saints in full power (Rev 12:10). Manifestly, Michael’s expulsion of Satan corresponds to Paul’s care to show that the mystery of iniquity cannot be revealed in the final man of sin until someone who is now holding back is taken out of the way (2Thes 2:7).
As you know, I believe this has reference to Michael’s forcible eviction of Satan. We know that Satan dreads this, being cast down, because it will mean his time is short (Rev 12:12). From the heavenly perspective, the final tribulation starts when the evicted and dejected Satan is forced to take up a full and unhindered residence in the body the mortally wounded beast, who ascends out the abyss, as the beast that was, and is not, and yet is, who must continue a short space (Rev 17:8, 10; i.e., the 3 1/2 years). So the middle of the week accomplishes the two primary events that must be fulfilled before the Lord can return: namely, the revelation of the mystery of iniquity in the man of sin, and the final desolations of Jerusalem.
It is a revived Antichrist that goes to the temple of God at Jerusalem to commit sacrilege and set himself forth as God. This begins the last 42 months of the trampling down of the holy city (Rev 11:2). Towards the end of his tyrannical career, he is opposed by the nations of the world that descend upon him at Jerusalem (Dan 11:45), from every direction (Dan 11:40-44; Rev 16:12-16).
Therefore, Armageddon isn’t about nations mobilizing to attack the Jews in Israel. Israel has been prostrated and crushed beneath the heel of the Antichrist for 42 months, since the point of the abomination. It is probable that the greater number of Jews that survive the sudden and unexpected invasion of Antichrist (1Thes 5:3), will be those who manage to escape into the neighboring wilderness of Judea (Mt 24:15-16), and on down into the Petra area (Isa 16:1-5; 26:20; 42:11; Dan 11:41; Rev 12:6, 14).
Armageddon is initiated by a revolt against the Antichrist. The nations rushing towards Megiddo and Jerusalem are not expecting to be met by Jesus in His descent to the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:4). Rather, their initial interest is to try to cast off the yoke of the oppressive tyrant. Check the above texts; it is a very different picture from what is usually presented, with implications that creates problems for many popular interpretations.
Well, that’s a super short, in the rough, sketch of the time line of events, as I see them, pertaining to the last seven years. No defense, just a summary. Hope that is at least enough to get you started. Grace to you, Reggie