Art Bell, on his radio program of the late 20th century, used to say that the earth had entered a period that he named “The Quickening”. Many in the late 20th century thought that we were at the end of the world or age as we knew it. Bell had one late night guest after another, telling his Dreamland listeners what would be coming upon on us in the next couple of years.
The guests ranged from secular prophets and remote viewers, to people that claimed to have various kinds of insider information about high level secrets. It made for great fiction, but the fantasy that was so often suggested, did not become reality just because some claimed it would.
In a recent post, I make my case why Jesus will return before 2050 AD. I used what I thought was a very conservative date. I actually believe Jesus is coming at least a few years before 2040 AD, with the start of prophetic end time events arriving some years sooner than that. I arrive at that conclusion by correlation of many world and church trends that are relative to Bible prophecy and by using logic.
It should not surprise anyone that the prophets of the world got the timing of the end of the age wrong, but frankly, the end did not come as fast as most premillennial Bible prophecy scholars taught either. There has been some “quickening” as Art Bell would say, but far less quickening than Bell and other modern prognosticators suggested.
Even so, if many world and church trends point to the fact that the Lord’s return is within a couple of decades, then it is just logical that any further delay of the start of end time prophetic events means that these events would have to be compressed into a shorter span of time.
A study of Daniel chapter nine tells us that there are still seven years left for God to deal with Israel before Jesus can return. Most premillennial scholars would agree that those seven years start with the Antichrist figure signing a covenant with Israel, so those seven years are not negotiable. Those seven years are still future and they have to occur before the Lord’s return.
Quite a few of the more recent Bible prophecy scholars believe that some prophetic end time events play out even before those seven years begin. The main prophetic events would be identified as the Rapture; the Psalm 83 prophecy; the total destruction of Damascus in Isaiah 17; and the Gog Magog invasion of Ezekiel 38-39.
Historically, classical dispensational scholars believed that all prophetic events, other than perhaps the Rapture, would happen within those last seven years. However, many of the more recent premillennial Bible prophecy scholars believe that some, or in most cases, all, of the above mentioned events happen before the last 7 years even begin.
We can see that the world stage is now being set up for all these events to play out. But, even so, the projected timing that some Bible prophecy teachers have suggested for the start of certain end time events have failed and are continually being pushed down the road.
The civil war in Syria has some now suggesting that the destruction of Damascus and the Psalm 83 war is going to happen within months. I really don’t see that happening that soon.
The Arab nations do have a common hatred of Israel but obviously they cannot act in one accord as long as revolutions are playing out in Arab countries. After the revolutions play out, there would need to be a time of rebuilding of their military before they will feel strong enough to take on Israel. Iran also needs to be removed from the equation because Iran is not mentioned in Psalm 83 and Iran is not Arab. Therefore, I can’t logically see the Palm 83 war happening before at least the latter part of this decade.
If that is the case, and the Psalm 83 is prior to the last seven years, then in my opinion that would leave only 5 or 10 years before when, I believe, the last seven years begin (roughly 2023-2030).
Thus, during those remaining 5 or 10 years the Gog Magog war would supposedly play out. But wait! The Ezekiel prophecy suggests that Israel will be living in peace, security, and prosperity with no one to make them afraid prior to the Gog invasion. That means in those 5 to 10 years after the Psalm 83 war, Israel would have to establish peace and prosperity conditions, and then also fulfill all that is mentioned in Ezekiel 38 and 39 about the invasion of Israel by the forces of Gog. Some suggest that this peace is established by Israel taking over much of the Middle East in the Psalm 83 war? (Keep in mind that they believe that the Psalm 83 war, the peace, and the Gog war are all prior to the seven-year covenant.)
I suppose that this is still possible, but as things get pushed further down the road it becomes more likely that these prophecies are fulfilled during the final seven years that most call the tribulation.
The more classical dispensational scholars like Hal Lindsey and Jack Van Impe believe that the two wars mentioned occur within the last seven years, and not prior to this tribulation period. They could be correct. If that is true, then we might wonder how it could be possible for Israel to be living in security and prosperity in the first half of those seven years without conquering much of the Middle East like more recent scholars like Bill Salus suggest?
The only answer possible for this late date peace is a seven-year covenant signed by the Roman prince, and the works of the two witnesses sent by God. The peace is established by the Covenant, but the prosperity and security that Israel is enjoying prior to the Gog invasion could be connected to the two witnesses that basically dictate to the world from Jerusalem.
When Moses brought Israel out of Egypt, the people of Egypt gave the people of Israel gold and precious things in some apparent attempt to appease Moses and his God. When the two witnesses come with their 3.5 year ministry that includes calling down judgments on the world as often as they wish, perhaps all Jews will be brought out of the world and back to the land of Israel.
Perhaps, at that time the Jews will bring much of the wealth of the world with them like the first Exodus. That could answer why Gog comes down to plunder Israel of her wealth. It also explains why the world comes against Israel like a flood (Dan 9:26, Rev 12:16) after the two prophets are removed from the picture (Rev 11:10-12).
Pharaoh sent the armies of Egypt after Israel like a flood, after Israel left Egypt with much of their wealth. At that time, the red sea swallowed up the army pursuing Israel. In the end times, the Dragon sends a flood against Israel and the earth swallows that flood (army?) up (Rev 12 14-16).
Things that happened before in the Bible can also be rehearsals of still future events. Like Solomon said, “That which has been, is that which is to be, and that which has been done, is that which will be done, and there is no new thing under the sun.” (Ec 1:9 BBE).
This is just food-for-thought. There is much that we just do not know about end time events. Some Bible prophecy teachers think they have everything all figured out and they become dogmatic about their theories. Thus far, they have not had a good track record on predicting the timing of end time events. Don’t get me wrong, I still like to think that most of the events mentioned are before the tribulation.
However, I do want you to keep in mind that the longer we travel down the road with none of these prophetic events happening, the more likely it becomes that these prophetic events will be fulfilled in the last seven years of the age.
Don Koenig founded www.thepropheticyears.com website in 1999 after almost thirty years of independent study on the Bible and learning from many astute teachers within Christendom. Don created his website to write about Bible prophecy, biblical discernment and his Christian worldviews. Don wrote a free Revelation commentary ebook in 2004 named "The Revelation of Jesus Christ Through The Ages". The World and Church and Bible Prophecy section of this website was started in 2007.