A number of Christians have emailed me wondering whether we are now living in the last year before the tribulation period could begin. The reasoning behind this is, this year in Israel is a ' shmita' year - the sabbatical year in which the Jews are commanded by God to let the land rest from producing fruit.
In the Autumn of 2008, the Feast of Trumpets will mark the beginning of another cycle of seven years for the Jewish people. The covenant between Israel and the surrounding nations is also strengthened by the Antichrist for a period of seven years (Daniel 9:27), so the thought is that this agreement could fall into one of these seven-year cycles on the Jewish calendar. The fact that the international community is aiming for a peace agreement by the end of 2008 is therefore quite significant. The book of Daniel states that the actual time of Jacob's trouble will begin after the agreement is broken by the Antichrist, and will run for a period of three and a half years (Daniel 12:7), or 42 months (Revelation 11:2), or 1260 days. Daniel also mentions another figure, 1335 days (Daniel 12:12).
But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.
And he (Antichrist) shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time (3.5 years).
For a moment let's say that the tribulation period does begin at the end of this year. There are two or three Jewish feast days that have not yet found their fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ. They are Rosh Hashanah (the Feast of Trumpets) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), and possibly Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles). The Bible seems to indicate that the Day of Atonement will find its fulfillment upon the return of Christ to this earth. The Day of Atonement is a day of national repentance for Israel, the holiest day of the year, in which Jews are commanded by God to afflict their souls for the sins of the past year (Leviticus 23:27).
The prophecy of Zechariah indicates that the Jewish nation will be in mourning for the One they crucified after He returns to defeat the Antichrist and his armies (Zechariah 12:10). So let's say that this is the day on which Christ returns to earth at the end of the tribulation period. From the prophecy of Daniel we know that the Great Tribulation period will last exactly 1260 days, or three and a half years.
If we count back 1260 days from the 23rd of September 2015 (Day of Atonement), we reach the 11th of April 2012. This date happens to fall right in the middle of the Feast of Passover, which was fulfilled at Christ's first coming to earth. This date is also in the middle of the seven-year tribulation period, and would be the day on which the Antichrist turns his back on the peace agreement, and begins his persecution of the Jewish people. It is interesting to note that many Christians feel that the Antichrist will counterfeit some of the events in the life of Jesus Christ.
According to Zechariah 11:17 and Revelation 13:3, the Antichrist will receive a deadly wound, but he will be miraculously healed, and this 'resurrection' will cause the whole world to worship him as God. The fact that this date falls on Passover is most intriguing, considering this was the time of year when Jesus Christ was crucified and was miraculously raised from the dead (John 13:1).
As we can see, the prophecy of Daniel is 100% accurate. With current events pointing towards the division of the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, which will occur in the middle of the seven year period, there is no doubt we are nearing the time when this prophecy will be fulfilled. We still can't be certain whether this coming seven years will see the fulfillment of these prophecies, or whether the prophecy is for another seven years yet to come.
69/70 AC was a Sabbatical Year:
Destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans!
1966/67 was a Sabbatical Year:
Six-Day war, Israel gains control of Jerusalem after 2,000 years!
2001/02 was the last Sabbatical Year:
Destruction of the World Trade Center (9/11)
2008/09 is the next Sabbatical Year:
, the next window for Jesus return is for: 2015/16 (The next Sabbatical Year)!