Today is Wednesday, December 21, 2011. Exactly seven months ago some incorrectly believed that Judgment Day/the Rapture would take place. Exactly one year from now there will be a lot of people afraid that the world is coming to an end.
Indeed, we are only one year away from December 21, 2012, a time period that I’m not looking forward to-not because I’m concerned that the world is coming to an end. I am simply not looking forward to the time period surrounding December 21, 2012 because there is going to be so much disinformation and hype coming from the media about that date. Imagine the hype concerning May 21, 2011 and multiply it by 1,000,000… it is going to almost unbearable as 2012 promoters and the media hype the date while failing to consider a biblical viewpoint.
Today I’ve decided to answer whether three major End Times-related events can possibly happen on December 21, 2012: Armageddon, the revealing of Antichrist’s true identity, and the start of the End Times.
The End Times seven-year period is known as the seventieth week of Daniel (also commonly known as the “tribulation”). Most of the future events prophesied in the Bible will occur during this seven prophetic year time frame. The seventieth week of Daniel is prophesied to last 2520 days (Daniel 12:7, 7:25, Revelation 12:6, 14, and 11:2-3, also see the appendix).1 Since the length of the seventieth week of Daniel is a defined period of time we can use it to assess whether Armageddon, the revealing of Antichrist’s true identity, or the start of the End Times can possibly happen on December 21, 2012.
Some people claim that Armageddon will commence on December 21, 2012. I feel that people who claim this need to strongly reconsider what the Bible says. The world must first go through the seventieth week of Daniel before the Battle of Armageddon can occur. For December 21, 2012 to be the date when the Battle of Armageddon occurs, the seventieth week of Daniel must have begun in 2005. You would be very hard pressed to find many Bible believers who believe the End Times began in 2005, including those who believe that we are living in the End Times right now. Therefore, the world will not end on December 21, 2012.
The Start of the End Times?
However, what about the possibility that the seventieth week of Daniel begins on December 21, 2012? I pose this question because some think that the End Times may begin on this date.
I believe it is impossible for the End Times to begin on December 21, 2012 due to the way the seventieth week of Daniel is likely going to end. There is a strong indication in End Times-related verses that the seventieth week of Daniel will end on a Yom Kippur, which is the holiest Jewish holiday; falling on Tishri 10 of the Jewish calendar or sometime between September and October on our calendar.2 The following table illustrates whether it is possible for the seventieth week of Daniel to begin on December 21, 2012.
|Our Calendar||Hebrew Calendar|
|Start of the 70th Week of Daniel||December 21, 2012||Teveth, 8 5773|
|Add 2520 Days|
|End of the 70th Week of Daniel||November 15, 2019||Heshvan 17, 5780|
This calculation demonstrates that the seventieth week of Daniel cannot begin on December 21, 2012 because it would be at odds with the designation of when the End Times will end after adding 2520 days from the start of the seventieth week of Daniel.
Antichrist Reveals His Identity?
Some claim that the Antichrist may reveal his true identity to the world on December 21, 2012. The Antichrist is prophesied to reveal his true identity to the world halfway through the seventieth week of Daniel when he breaks a seven-year treaty he confirms with Israel and desecrates a newly built temple located in Jerusalem.
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Dan 9:27)
(3) Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (4) Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” (2 Thes 2:3-4)
The halfway point of the seventieth week of Daniel will come 1260 days before the seventieth week of Daniel ends as 2520 divided by 2 is 1260. The following table illustrates whether it is possible for the Antichrist to reveal his true identity to the world on December 21, 2012.
|Our Calendar||Hebrew Calendar|
|Start of the 70th Week of Daniel||July 10, 2009||Tammuz 18, 5769|
|Halfway Point of the 70th Week of Daniel||December 21, 2012||Teveth, 8 5773|
|Add 1260 Days|
|End of the 70th Week of Daniel||June 3, 2016||Iyyar 26, 5776|
This calculation demonstrates that the Antichrist cannot reveal his true identity on December 21, 2012 because it would be at odds with the designation of when the End Times will end after adding 1260 days from the halfway point of the seventieth week of Daniel. In addition, the seventieth week of Daniel would have to begin on July 10, 2009 for December 21, 2012 to be the halfway point. Recall, the seventieth week of Daniel is initiated with the confirming of a (new) seven year treaty between Antichrist and Israel. There was no such announcement on July 10, 2009 as Israel was not negotiating with the Palestinians.
Therefore, Bible believers should not view December 21, 2012 as a tremendously important day because nothing monumental can happen, like the start of the End Times, the revealing of the Antichrist, or the end of the world, on this date. Could an event that helps bring us closer to the start of the End Times happen on December 21, 2012? Yes, but we can say that about any date on the calendar…
The Length of the 70th Week of Daniel and Prophetic Years
Gabriel told Daniel that 70 weeks have been given to the people of Israel and the city of Jerusalem to end their disobedience, atone for their sins, and to be saved.
(24) Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. (25) Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. (26) And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.” (Dan 9:24-26)
Most Christians who study Bible prophecy agree that the first 69 weeks of this prophecy was fulfilled over a several-hundred year period with a call to rebuild Jerusalem in the 20th year of Artaxerxes Longimanus’s reign (Nehemiah 2:1-5) and the death and ascension of Christ. Therefore, Gabriel did not mean 70 literal weeks where each week is 7 days in length. The Hebrew translation of the word “week” in Daniel is shâbûa‛, which actually means “seven”. Therefore we can also refer to Daniel’s prophecy as “the 70 sevens”. The length of a prophetic week can be determined by analyzing the structure of the 70th week of Daniel. Daniel’s 70th week is divided into two halves. In the first half Antichrist confirm a covenant with Israel, but will break it halfway through the seven.
And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” (Dan 9:27)
The 2nd half of the week is a period of severe persecution. This period of time will last for “time, times, and a half”. The Hebrew word for “time” is “mô‛êd”, which also can mean “a year”. Nearly every commentator who analyzes Daniel’s 70 week prophecy agrees that “time, times, and a half” means 3 ½ years. Therefore, a prophetic week is a seven year period.
“And he 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.” (Dan 7:25)
In Revelation 12:14 we learn that 3 ½ prophetic years is the equivalent of 1260 days. If we divide 1260 days by 3 ½ years we will find that a prophetic year is 360 days long.
“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” (Rev 12:14)
“And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” (Rev 12:6)
Similarly, 3 ½ years is also defined as 42 months since seven years is the equivalent to 84 months. Therefore a prophetic month is 30 days long since 1260 days divided by 42 months equals 30 days/month.
“(2) 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. (3) And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.” (Rev 11:2-3)
Given this information, we can confirm that the 70th Week of Daniel will be 2520 days long three different.
- 30 Days (in a Prophetic Month) x 42 Prophetic Months (in Half a Prophetic Week) x 2 Halves = 2520 Days
- 7 Prophetic Years (in a Prophetic Week) x 360 Days (in a Prophetic Year) = 2520 Days
- 1260 Days in “Time, Times, and Half” x 2 Halves = 2520 Days.
- The length of a prophetic year differs from the length of year on our calendar. A prophetic year is 360 days in length. For more about the 70th Week of Daniel and the length of prophetic weeks and years read the appendix. ↩
- The purpose of the 70 Weeks of Daniel is to atone for the sins of Jerusalem and the Jewish people (Dan 9:24). Since Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement on the Jewish calendar it is fitting that the final atonement of sins is completed on the Day of Atonement. ↩