Larkin predicted a 7-year Tribulation
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Larkin's scholarly prestige caused the widespread idea of a 7-year Tribulation, for which there is no valid Scripture.
Clarence Larkin, who is highly rated as a Bible scholar and quoted by many preachers, taught us much about the Bible but he was unable to puzzle out certain aspects of the prophetic Books of Revelation and Daniel. His scholastic prestige helped to reinforce the widespread idea of a seven-year Tribulation, for which there is, unfortunately, no valid Scripture. He mistakenly misinterpreted two verses of Scripture involved in Daniel's 70 weeks prophecy. We do not blame Doctor Larkin, as those two Scripture verses are written in a way that makes it very easy for him, and most other Christians, to misinterpret and thus draw the wrong conclusions.
God wrote prophecy in a way that would only be revealed at the end time after the seventh angel or messenger, William Branham, revealed the mysteries of Scripture. Dr. Larkin wrote before that, while the mysteries were still sealed up.
DANIEL 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
Prophecy is the one area where Christians have easily come unstuck.
Let us first consider three important points that are involved in the 70 weeks prophecy.
- We must clarify what is meant by a Bible year or a prophetic year.
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 I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.
One score = 20
So 42 Bible months = 1260 days
1 Bible month = 1260 / 42 = 30 days
1 Bible year = 12 months = 12 x 30 = 360 days
Our year = 365,24 days so our year has 5,24 days more than a Bible year.
In 69 of our years, there are 69 x 5,24 = 361.56 days extra
which is basically 1 extra Bible year of 360 days ( the 1.56 extra days do not affect the calculation. The accuracy is more than 99%)
So 69 0f our years = 70 Biblical years
2. What can be meant by a "week" in prophecy?
When Laban spoke to Jacob :
Fulfil her week, and we will give thee this also for the service which thou shalt serve with me yet seven other years.
Taking a day to represent a year, this week involves a seven-year period.
God had used this idea of indicating time on two other occasions.
After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.
And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.
So, in prophecy, a week can refer to 7 years.
3. Let us sort out the time limits from start to finish of Daniel's 70 weeks prophecy.
This is a big weakness in people's attempts to solve the prophecy. They get the starting time and the ending time wrong.
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.
70 weeks = 70 x 7 = 490 years are being granted to the Jews
For every 70 Bible years, we have one year less of our longer years
490 Bible years = 490/70 = 7 years less on our Gentile calendar.
In our time this will be 490 - 7 = 483 years
DANIEL 9:25 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
7 + 62 = 69 weeks will be 1 week or 7 years less than 70 weeks.
483 - 7 = 476 of our years is 69 weeks.
Nehemiah got the king's permission to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. To be a city, there had to be a wall around it.
Wikipedia Artaxerxes I … was the fifth king of Persia from 465 BC to 424 BC.
NEHEMIAH 2: 1
And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, that wine was before him: and I took up the wine, and gave it unto the king. Now I had not been beforetime sad in his presence.
Taking 465 BC as year 1 of his reign, and 464 as the 2nd year of his reign
465 464 463 462 461 460 459 458 457 456 455 454 453 452 451 450 449 448 447 446 BC
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20th year
Thus the 20th year of his reign will be 446 BC.
So this prophecy starts in 446 BC.
Moreover I said unto the king, If it please the king, let letters be given me to the governors beyond the river, that they may convey me over till I come into Judah;
:8 And a letter unto Asaph the keeper of the king's forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the palace which appertained to the house, and for the wall of the city, and for the house that I shall enter into. And the king granted me, according to the good hand of my God upon me.
Nehemiah rebuilt the walls and gates of Jerusalem in 52 days. A gate is where a street meets the wall. He built with his weapons in one hand because of endless threats from the Jews’ enemies.
And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire.
So built we the wall; and all the wall was joined together unto the half thereof: for the people had a mind to work.
They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one with one of his hands wrought in the work, and with the other hand held a weapon.
DANIEL 9:25... "the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times"
So 62 + 7 = 69 weeks had gone past by the time Jesus came on the scene as Messiah.
That is 476 of our Gentile years.
There were 446 years up to the birth of Christ.
So 476 - 446 = 30 years after the birth of Christ.
And the end of the prophecy must be about AD 30.
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 :
When did Jesus come on the scene as Messiah the Prince?
Augustus was one of the most famous emperors of Rome and he ruled for 40 years, so his dates are well recorded.
The emperor Augustus died in AD 14.
The senate then declared his adopted son Tiberius as emperor in AD 14.
At that time, only the Roman senate could declare a man to be emperor.
Augustus made Tiberius co-emperor in either 12 AD or 13 AD (depending on which history source you use) but that decision was not ratified by the senate. When Augustus died, Tiberius then had to ask the senate to accept him as emperor, which they did.
Luke said John the Baptist began preaching in the 15th year of Tiberius.
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, …
:2 … the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.
That would be the year 29 AD. (14 + 15 = 29)
John would start his ministry in Spring (March/April) as winter would be too cold to baptize people.
John’s ministry was probably about six months, so it would be some time around September, AD 29 when John baptized Jesus. Luke says that Jesus was about 30. So the dates match.
Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
:22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age,….
So John the Baptist pointed out the Messiah towards the end of AD 29 when he baptized Jesus.
Jesus, as the sacrificial Lamb, had to be washed according to the Law of Moses.
II CHRONICLES 4:6
He made also ten lavers, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them: such things as they offered for the burnt offering they washed in them;
The time elapsed was thus 446 + 30 = 476 of our years.
This was 476 + 7 = 483 of the shorter Biblical years. This is exactly 69 weeks.
(69 x 7 = 483)
Messiah means Anointed One.
The Holy Spirit came down and rested upon Him in order to anoint Him publicly.
In addition, the Law of Moses required that the high priest (who at that time was Aaron) had to be first washed by the prophet Moses and then the high priest also had to be anointed.
And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water.
Thus Jesus, as our High Priest, first had to be washed by the prophet John the Baptist, which is why John baptized Him.
Then shalt thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him. (Aaron)
After the washing Jesus then had to be anointed.
John had not been told by God to do this.
So after baptizing Jesus, he watched, and in accordance with the Mosaic Law, the Holy Spirit came down as a Dove to rest upon Jesus and anoint Him.
In the same way, the anointing oil had rested and remained upon the first high priest, Aaron.
The Holy Spirit never went into Jesus. The Spirit rested on Him and remained on Him as an anointing, just like the anointing oil on Aaron.
JOHN 1:33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
The voice said " My beloved Son". As a Son of the King, the emphasis was on Jesus as a Prince.
"Unto the Messiah the Prince". The anointed One, Jesus, was the Son of the anointing Spirit.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
So the Holy Ghost is the Father of the Man Jesus.
The father is the person who places the seed of life in the mother's womb.
So the 69 weeks were complete towards the end of AD 29 when Jesus began His ministry. Almost the year AD 30.
Clarence Larkin claims this date of AD 30 refers to Palm Sunday, but on that date, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey as the King of the Jews, not as their Prince.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
Palm Sunday occurred 3½ years after the water baptism of Jesus at the end of His ministry.
And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
So at Calvary, the emphasis on Jesus was contained in a title that claimed that He was the King of the Jews.
Palm Sunday and His death on the next Thursday were thus in the middle of Daniel’s 70th week.
Jesus was crucified and God ripped up the Temple veil.
From that moment onwards the Temple worship and animal sacrifices ended in God’s eyes.
The only valid Sacrifice for sin was hanging on the cross, but this was the Sacrifice that the Jews rejected.
So from then on God rejected the Jewish sacrifices in their Temple.
All Jewish sacrifices of animals no longer had any real meaning.
The Jewish Temple worship suddenly became invalid. Irrelevant.
Their ceremonies were purely an empty ritual, deprived of any spiritual value, and could no longer atone for their sins.
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
:51 behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom;
The Jews rejected God at Calvary by killing their Messiah.
So God rejected the Jews' Temple worship and began to deal with the Gentiles.
DANIEL 9: 27
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,
The death of Jesus, after His 3½ year ministry, (because He has to die in the midst of the 70th week) ended the Jewish sacrificial system as He was the ultimate Sacrifice.
So God had worked with the Jews for 69½ weeks, but at that moment in time, the Jews rejected their own Messiah by demanding His death.
Thus God was forced to turn away from the Jews because they had rejected Him.
God only turned away from the Jews, after they had first turned away from Him.
When Jesus died in AD 33 as the rejected King, then God began to turn to the Gentiles.
Rejected by the Jews, God began calling out a church that would become mainly Gentile as the years went by.
But God remembers that He still owes the Jews 3½ years.
That half-a-week has to happen sometime in the future when there is a big change in the attitude of the Jews towards God that will be brought about by the Great Tribulation.
One purpose of the Great Tribulation is to force the Jews back to accepting Christ, as He will be the only one who can save them in that chaotic time of widespread industrial-scale death, destruction, and terror.
Thus a Great Tribulation time of three and a half years lies in the future which is the only time allocated to the antichrist prince, the son of perdition.
He will be anointed by the spirit of Satan, even as Jesus was anointed by the Spirit of God.
Jesus, as Messiah the Prince had a ministry of 3½ years where He brought Life.
So the antichrist prince, who imitates Jesus, only has a ministry of 3½ years too. This will be during the Great Tribulation where he will bring Death.
Working in Bible years.
Jesus was baptized near the end of AD 20 and crucified in AD 33. God left the Jews but still owes them 3.5 years which they will get in the Tribulation.
We consider the two key Scripture verses which led to the idea of a seven-year Tribulation.
Larkin's big mistake was to consider these two verses of Daniel in isolation and not to use other Scriptures to get the true meaning of those two verses.
The two verses are :
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.
:27 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,
“The prince that shall come” refers to the final antichrist Roman Catholic Pope who rules in the Tribulation.
It also refers, as a preview, to the Roman general Titus who destroyed Jerusalem in AD 70.
By then his father Vespasian had been proclaimed as the Roman emperor.
As the son of an emperor, Titus was entitled to be called a prince.
His people were the pagan Romans who destroyed Jerusalem in the most brutal and savage attack that the Roman empire ever launched against any city. Such was their hatred of the Jews.
More than a million Jews died.
The people of the Antichrist Pope, who is still to come, will be the papal Romans of the Roman Catholic Church. The final Pope will use the military power and strength of ten dictators.
And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
:13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
What is the main mistake that Christians make with this prophecy of Daniel 9:27?
Larkin, and many other preachers, run the two verses in Daniel together. This is what they say :
“DANIEL 9:27…and the people
of the prince that shall come
(the future antichrist)
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.
The Romans under General Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in AD 70;
(the future antichrist - the wrong interpretation)
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”,
(The antichrist confirms a 7-year covenant and then breaks it after 3.5 years, in the midst of this last week of 7 years.)
Such is Dr. Larkin's claim and modern church leaders agree with him.
But a confirmed covenant cannot be broken.
Let us see what conclusions result from Dr. Larkin's ideas.
Remember, a week is equal to 7 days and this can thus refer to 7 years.
Dr. Larkin claims that the date AD 30 is when Jesus died.
Thus there is still a seven-year period left which will be the time or duration of the Great Tribulation.
Let us look at Dr. Larkin’s seven-year version of the Tribulation :
This (incorrect) version gives us a seven-year Tribulation with the antichrist in charge.
The Tribulation starts with the antichrist making or signing a covenant with the Jews for seven years (most people think this is a peace treaty). Then he breaks his covenant halfway through the Tribulation in the midst of the Great Tribulation week, after 3 ½ years.
This theory results in things getting a little messy due to the lack of Scripture.
We thus have to have an “easy Tribulation” (whatever that means) for the first 3½ years (which is simply speculation) followed by the “bad” Tribulation for the final 3½ years (for which there is Scripture).
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 there was given unto him (the antichrist) a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
42 months = 1 260 days
And the woman (Jewish church) 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.
And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman (Jewish church) which brought forth the man child.
:14 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
(half a year)
, from the face of the serpent.
3 ½ years = 42 months = 1 260 days
Thus there is Scripture for the “bad” second half of the Tribulation which lasts 3 ½ years, but there is no Scripture for the “easy” first half of the Tribulation.
So this interpretation is a 50-50 idea as it has no Scripture to vindicate the idea of an "easy" first half of the Great Tribulation.
Being outside of Scripture is obviously unwise and is not to be recommended.
Now here comes a big flaw in this doctrine.
(the future antichrist)
shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.
Notice, he does not make a covenant, he confirms a covenant.
So this covenant had to be made before the final seven years started.
There is absolutely no Scripture to confirm this theory.
No one knows how long the antichrist has to be on earth before the last seven years of the Great Tribulation, in order to make the covenant that he then later confirms for seven years.
Any attempt to answer this question will be sheer guesswork, so on this point, the seven year Tribulation loses all credibility.
Now let us do the interpretation of Scripture correctly.
We look for another Scripture that speaks of “confirming the covenant”, instead of just guessing that it is the antichrist who does this because the previous verse spoke of the antichrist.
Two statements in the Bible that follow each other do not necessarily mean that they are referring to the same event.
Look at this following verse :
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Jesus fulfilled the first half during His ministry as He read from the Book of Isaiah
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
:20 And he closed the book,
The day of vengeance (the Great Tribulation) comes about 2000 years after proclaiming the acceptable year although both of these events are mentioned in the same verse.
We must now discover who made a covenant that was then later confirmed.
That means that this covenant has already been confirmed in the past. Thus we must not waste our time waiting in vain for it to be confirmed in the future.
And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
It is vital to note that the covenant has nothing to do with the antichrist.
It is also vital to note that this covenant has already been made and confirmed.
God made a covenant with Abraham about a promised son that would be born to Abraham. He and his descendants would inherit the promised land of Israel.
In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:
At first, it seemed like Isaac was the promised son, and in one sense he was, he was the promised son of the flesh.
From Isaac came the Jews who were led out of Egypt by Moses and into the Promised Land by Joshua.
But the descendants of Abraham (who were his natural children) would eventually die at the end of their life spans. They would also be conquered later on by the Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, and finally the Romans. Not to mention the times in the Book of Judges when neighbouring tribes suppressed and ruled them. Rome would finally make a king for them called Herod the Great who was the cruelest king the Jews ever had. Life in the Promised Land was thus often very rough. The Jews cried out for the Messiah to deliver them from their many enemies.
But Messiah came in such a simple manner that they rejected Him and killed Him.
Then they were chased out of their promised land by the Romans. Almost two thousand years later, with much sweat, hardship, and bloodshed, they would regain a part of the Promised Land from the Arabs who had occupied it for the last 700 years. But they had to lose 6 million Jews in Hitler’s gas ovens and crematoriums before the United Nations briefly sympathized with them and granted them the State of Israel. They declared a Jewish state in 1948 and promptly got attacked by five Arab armies. Somehow, miraculously, they won the 1948 war and the 1956 war and the 1967 war, and the 1973 war. So life was not easy for the Jews who are the natural descendants of Isaac, Abraham’s natural son. As a result, the natural covenant granting them the land of Israel has been hard going. To this day they struggle against the on-going hatreds of the Palestinians. Life in the Promised Land has seldom been a bed of roses.
So let us take a deeper, more spiritual, look at God's covenant.
It was actually Christ who was the promised Son (or seed) of Abraham.
Abraham in the flesh produced a son Isaac. But almost two thousand years later, the faith of Abraham when combined with the faith of Mary was able to produce the virgin-born Son Jesus, Who was the real Seed of Abraham.
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
But the confirmation of the covenant that was made with Abraham would be in Christ (who was Abraham’s Son because of Abraham's faith). This confirmation happened when Christ paid the price for sin at Calvary during His First Coming. By this sacrifice, Christ is able to offer eternal life in a new kingdom that is free from sin and Satan. Then when Christ comes the third time for Armageddon, there are with Him the Old Testament Jewish saints who were resurrected soon after Christ’s resurrection. They will then occupy the Promised Land forever.
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
The Old Testament saints will be also be joined by the 144000 Jews who are killed near the end of the Great Tribulation and are then resurrected shortly after that to act as protectors of the Bride of Christ.
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
“Firstfruits” speaks of the first to be resurrected. The 144000 are resurrected before the Millenium as a preview of the general resurrection that will happen after the Millenium.
I CORINTHIANS 15:20
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
These Jewish saints will then occupy the Promised Land for 1000 years before they occupy the New Heaven and the New Earth as they have eternal life.
This is the final fulfillment of the covenant that was first made by God with Abraham and then confirmed in Christ when He died for their sins so that they could obtain eternal life. Each Jew had a brief and often difficult lifespan in the Promised Land. Thanks to Jesus, when the Great Tribulation is over, they will occupy the Promised Land for the Millennium before moving on to Eternity. This is a much better promise.
The Great Tribulation time will be used by Moses and Elijah to pull out the 144000 Jews who accept Christ as Saviour. These Jews then receive the Holy Ghost baptism.
They will all be killed just before the Great Tribulation ends.
This vicious Tribulation will last 3½ years.
A brief note on why many Christians mistakenly believe king Herod died in 4 BC.
That means Jesus had to be born in about 6 BC because the wise men followed the star for two years. They did not go into the stable but went into a house. They did not see a baby, they saw a young child. Joseph was not present.
And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
Christians refer to an eclipse of the moon, mentioned by the Jewish historian Josephus, that occurred just before the death of Herod.
Josephus gave no year nor month nor date for this eclipse, so we are left to guess the answer.
Eclipses of the moon occur often in the Middle East.
Guessing which eclipse it was is not a good foundation for establishing truth.
Herod was only a minor historical figure and events in his life are less certain.
No historian gave a date for Herod’s death.
The Roman emperor was the most important man in the empire and events in his life were far more accurately recorded.
Christians have assumed that this eclipse happened in 4 BC when 36 % of the moon briefly blacked out, which is not very impressive.
In the year 1 BC there were two eclipses of the moon, one in January and one in December. The first eclipse was a total 100 % blackout of the moon that lasted an impressive 1 hour and 41 minutes.
So why is this not the eclipse that Josephus referred to? The 4 BC believers have no reply to this question, other than that it does not fit their preconceived dates.
Or perhaps the later eclipse at the end of the year 1 BC when 53 % of the moon blacked out?
Or maybe it could be some other lunar eclipse as eclipses are fairly frequent.
But all this is far too vague and fuzzy to establish the birth of Jesus for our calendar.
Let us rather stick to the date of John the Baptist's ministry in Luke. That only depends on one date, the death of Rome’s longest-lived and very famous first emperor, Augustus Caesar in 14 AD. No one disputes that date.
The date of Herod’s death in 4 BC has been disputed recently by many gifted scholars who have impressive academic credentials and a lot of facts and figures to justify their arguments. Thus the date of 4 BC is controversial and contested. As such, it is far from being guaranteed as the right answer.
So let us not get embroiled in this controversy of Herod’s “guessed at” date of death based on a lunar eclipse that was not precisely specified by the historian Josephus.
The historian Suetonius said that the emperor Caligula was killed about the seventh hour of the day. Josephus said it was the ninth hour. So historians differ with each other and truth should rather be established from Scripture, if possible, than from historians.
Josephus says Herod called for an obscure priest out of Babylon, whose name was Ananelus, and bestowed the high priesthood on him.
Then Josephus contradicts this on the next page by saying that Ananelus was “of the stock of the high priests”.
But for Jesus to be baptized about the year AD 30 is Scriptural as He was about 30 when He was baptized.
Let us consider the expression "the dividing of time".
A time times the dividing of time
The dividing of time refers to the seven church ages that separate the two halves of the last or 70th week of Daniel's prophecy.
The last week is divided into two halves.
The seven church ages then occur between the two halves of the last week.
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.
The church ages were the dividing of time between the two halves of the last week, or 7 years.
The Papacy arose out of the ruins of the Roman empire. The Pope is the figurehead of that system in the same way that Hitler was the figurehead of the Nazi party.
When pagan Rome lost its power to the barbarian tribes, the Papacy rose to power amongst these barbarian tribes that had broken up the western pagan Roman empire. The Papacy went against God as it took over the pagan Babylonian high priesthood title of Pontiff around AD 450 and then proceeded to establish doctrines like mass, purgatory, rosary, archbishops, cardinals, etc that are not written in Scripture.
The Roman Catholic church fathers spent two hundred years developing the idea of the Trinity (an unscriptural word) as a three-in-one (unscriptural) God using unscriptural terms like "God the Son" and "God the Holy Spirit" without explaining why these terms are not in the Bible. Yet the expression "God the Father" is found in the New Testament but never in the Old Testament. Trinitarians cannot explain why.
The phrase "One God in Three Persons" is unscriptural.
Father and Son are of the same "essence" (also unscriptural).
"First Person of the Godhead", "Second Person of the Godhead" and "Third Person of the Godhead" are all unscriptural terms.
A serious consequence of the Trinity doctrine was to lose sight of the Name of God. Three Persons are in the Godhead. The Name of the Father is supposed to be Jehovah. But this is man-made having added vowels to JHVH. JHVH cannot be pronounced as Hebrew has no vowels. Actually, it should be YHWH which has no vowels and is unpronounceable, and thus is not a name. It is no use having a word that cannot be pronounced as a name. The Name of the Son is Jesus. The Name of the Holy Spirit? No Name is given for Him in the Bible. So we only have one name for three People. Not a very happy conclusion.
However, Trinitarians cannot find one Name for all three Persons.
Thus we have no Name for the Christian God.
So we use fuzzy logic by bluffing ourselves that three titles are a Name.
They say "In the Name of Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" as if that is a Name.
But when asked "What is the Name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?", they have no answer.
"Wear out the saints"
Saint Augustine of Hippo, around AD 400 said that it was acceptable to persecute heretics. "Persecute" was soon interpreted as being allowed to "torture and kill".
Some tens of millions of people who disagreed with the Catholic church were butchered during the Dark Ages and the counter-Reformation, and this savage killing spree continued to the end of the Thirty Year's War in 1648 that left Germany desolate. But Roman Catholic opposition to the Protestant believers continued.
The pagan Roman dictator Julius Caesar made a big change to the calendar when he added 90 days in 46 BC. Then Pope Gregory 13 fine-tuned the calendar by removing 10 days in 1582. Thus Rome, pagan and Papal, changed the calendar times for us.
Damasus became Bishop of Rome in AD 366. He was the first Bishop to ban the Bible. Soon it became a death sentence to even own a Bible.
Pope Leo I around AD 440 took over the pagan title of Pope or Pontiff as high priest of the Babylonian mysteries. Since then the Bishop of Rome has to be called "Pope".
The Last Supper or Communion was celebrated as a mass and the bread and wine were declared to become the actual flesh and blood of Jesus.
In AD 606 the Pope was declared to be the Universal Bishop. Everyone is subject to him.
He issued indulgences that people could buy in order to obtain forgiveness of sins.
Roman Catholic priests and nuns were not allowed to marry.
Purgatory was declared as an in-between step where you had to suffer for a while after death. If people paid in money for you, you could get out of purgatory faster.
In 1302 it was declared that a person had no salvation unless they were subject to the Roman Pope.
These are just a few of the new (unscriptural) laws that the Papacy introduced
"And they (the saints) shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time"
The last week of 7 years is a measure of time.
This time of the last week is cut in half and then the two halves are pushed apart so that the 2000 years of church history (the 7 church ages) fit in between the two half-week periods.
This "church ages" gap is called the "dividing of time" as it separates the two 3½ year periods.
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.
The antichrist dominates the church system UNTIL the dividing of time is complete, in other words, until the church ages end with the catching away of the Bride, the true church.
The Jews had 7 weeks (49 years) with prophetic guidance. Then 62 weeks (434 Jewish years) with no prophets. That ended in the year AD 29 when John the Baptist came and baptized Jesus, washing Him as the Sacrificial Lamb.
The ministry of Jesus lasted 3½ years.
The Roman Catholic Church is the only institution that has been around in all seven church ages as they oppose and wear down the true believers. This will continue until the church ages end. The church ages are the dividing of time between the two halves of the last week or 7 years. Protestants who believe in Trinity, Christmas on 25 December, Lent, Good Friday, and the rosary or sign-of-the-cross have been worn down by the Catholics to abandon what the Bible says on these topics.
Then comes the final 3½ year period.
The great Tribulation happens and the two prophets, Moses and Elijah, will take the Gospel to the Jews.
The 70th week of Daniel is divided into two halves. Jesus had a ministry for 3½ years and then the Jews rejected Him as the living Word.
God then began to deal with the Gentiles and the 2000 years of church history were divided into seven church ages.
The antichrist system of the Papacy would first persecute the true church and then become friendly so that its denominational Churchianity (where human traditions and opinions rule) would be accepted by the Protestants who would thus be deceived into believing ideas that are not written in Scripture. The true saints would face a deluge of subtle error and a flood of people opposing them. This will happen until the church leaves the earth at the start of the Great Tribulation.
God had intended to pull a church out of the Gentiles during the seven church ages that started in the Book of Acts. The last church age (Laodicea, meaning "people’s rights") will end when Jesus leaves the mercy seat (sometime soon) and comes down to claim His Bride. Then salvation ceases as there is no more Blood on the mercy seat. Thus no Gentile can get saved during the Tribulation. The huge multitude who come out of the Great Tribulation are the sleeping virgin who are the Christians that were already saved before the Tribulation starts but missed the catching away of the church.
After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?
:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
At the end of the last church age, the Laodicean age, Jesus stands outside the church door as the Christians are so obsessed with their own rights and opinions that they have need of nothing, not even correction.
The rejected King then turns to the Jews for their promised 3½ years. The Jews will get such a shakeup in the great Tribulation that they will be willing to listen rather than reject.
But God still owes the Jews half a week which is 3½ years. Thus God deals with Israel during the 3½ years of the Great Tribulation.
Many believing Jews will die during that great Tribulation time but in the end, there will be 144000 who meet their Messiah.
And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.
Then the 144000 also have to be killed by the antichrist prince.
And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season,as until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed they were, should be fulfilled.
Then Christ returns for Armageddon.
Larkin made another mistake in thinking that Gentiles will get saved during the Tribulation.
Those who come out of the Great Tribulation are the sleeping virgin who were saved before the great Tribulation started. The Great Tribulation is to purge sincere but deceived Christians of their unscriptural beliefs like :
God is a Trinity and water baptism in the titles of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The church’s ignorance of what original sin was and why God demanded animal blood to pay for our sins.
The domination of the church by elevated human leaders. The church's obsession with the title “Pastor” seeing that the word “pastor” is only mentioned once in the New Testament. Thus a pastor has no Scriptural authority to dominate a church.
The pagan Christmas festival of the sun god on 25 December with its “Christmas” tree which the Roman Catholic church changed to the birthday of the Son of God around the year AD 350. Catholics believe in a celebration called a mass. So this sun god festival became Christ’s mass or Christmas. Protestants thus celebrate a mass when they celebrate Christmas.
The Christians’ rejection of the end-time prophet who is to teach us how to interpret Scripture so that we can have the same beliefs as the first church age. The church world, in their obsession to find fault with brother Branham (and he obviously had his faults as he was human) has rejected him and thus missed the good that he did as well as the incredible insights that he brought to the pages of the Bible. Without brother Branham’s teachings, we would never have understood numerous mysteries like :
- Jesus twice wrote in the dust when challenged about a woman taken in adultery. Why?
- After His resurrection, Jesus told Mary not to touch Him (in Matthew) but in John He permitted her to take hold of His feet. Why this difference?
- In Matthew and Mark, they saw one angel at the empty tomb. In Luke and John, they saw two angels. Why did Matthew and Mark not mention the second angel?
- Why is Pergamum given the Greek ending Pergamos? None of the other six churches in Revelation have a Greek ending.
- What are the miracles performed by the beast of Revelation 13?
- What is the fire that the beast brings down from the sky?
- What is the number of the beast 666? It is the number of a man (one man). If you search the internet you will find no evidence that any Pope has called himself Vicarivs Filii Dei (Vicar of the Son of God). No succession of Popes has claimed this title either, but even if they had that would be a number of men. The mark refers to one man. Who is he? How is one man able to influence history over a long period of time and cause many people to miss making it to heaven, including many in our day and in the future.
As Christians, if we are honest and quit fooling ourselves, we will realize that we suffer from ignorance. Especially ignorance of the future. No church group predicted the fall of communism when the Berlin wall was broken down (as a result of an East German official who made a mistake) nor the attack on the Twin Towers, nor the economic collapse of 2008-2009, nor the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
Nobody predicted the vicious COVID-19 coronavirus that closed down churches and did so much harm in 2020 before spilling over into 2021. Then the totally unexpected storming of the Capitol in America by Republicans on 6 January 2021. Thus we are simply swept along by the tide of these unpredictable events.
We did predict Y2K for the first day of 2000 when computers would cause a catastrophe by getting the date wrong. Nothing did happen. It fizzled out. So we quickly forgot Y2K as it revealed our ignorance about what actually will happen in the future.
We are thus future-blind because of our inability to predict the future. Most people seem to seek a soothing emptiness which is little more than a tragic optimism in the face of many possible future pathways. Amongst these unpredictable events, the antichrist spirit remains hidden and unseen in our midst.
But his focus has never changed. The Roman Catholic Church claims that it is destined to rule the world. So they quietly and efficiently strive for political and financial power. Their military power will come from 10 dictators.
The coronavirus undermined the American economy which lost the re-election bid of President Trump. This handed over America to a Catholic trinity of Biden, Harris, and Pelosi. The Pope is the only dictator in Europe. Dictatorships like China have done better against the pandemic than democracies. So the coronavirus is nudging the world towards dictatorship as being a more effective way to handle disasters. America seems to be heading towards a Catholic takeover.
Meanwhile, the emphasis on quotes and human leadership by message-groups successfully stops people from getting back to the teachings of the New Testament. Where small local churches were each run by a group of elders, never by a one-man pastor.
“It is written” is no longer the church motto because people do not understand such a lot of what is written in the Bible. When asked a difficult question from Scripture, Christians easily dismiss the problem by saying “It is not important”.
Our inability to predict the future should make us realize that our only hope is to return to the Scriptures and to do that we need a thorough understanding of what is written in the Bible.
Larkin also believed that Babylon would be rebuilt.
The Bible said it will not be rebuilt.
How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken! how is Babylon become a desolation among the nations!
And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the LORD shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant.
And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant.
The sea is come up upon Babylon: she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.
:43 Her cities are a desolation, a dry land, and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither doth any son of man pass thereby.
Saddam Hussein started to rebuild Babylon but God used the Americans in the two Gulf wars to stop him. After Saddam died, the Iraqis again started to rebuild Babylon. Then ISIS suddenly erupted and took over a large portion of the country and now Iraq has to spend all its money on combating that menace. No money is available for rebuilding at the moment. Once again God has stepped in to make sure that the prophecy of a ruined Babylon remains true.
Larkin made no mention of the Jews returning to their Promised Land.
Larkin died in 1924 and at that time it was considered impossible for the Jews to return. So no one took the prophecy seriously. Then came the holocaust as Hitler murdered 6 million Jews in World War 2. In 1945 Stalin, the brutal dictator of Russia, mentioned to Churchill at the Yalta conference that he favoured a State for Israel. (He perhaps hoped that Jewish socialism would undermine British influence in the Middle East.) In 1947 the United Nations held a vote in Flushing Meadow, New York. Thanks to the communist support, the United Nations narrowly gained the two-thirds majority needed to grant the Jews a portion of Palestine as the Jewish State of Israel. Israel became a nation in 1948 and was immediately attacked by five Arab armies. Somehow, miraculously, they won. Another war in 1956 was followed by the incredible six-day war of 1967 which saw Israel double its size. They hung on when Egypt suddenly attacked them in 1973, and with President Nixon’s help and an incredible American airlift of arms and ammunition, they managed to win yet again. Now Israel is established and is certainly a strong state.
However, a big enemy of Israel is Syria which also has a strong army. Hezbollah, the terrorist group in Lebanon, hates Israel and is also very strong. Egypt also has a powerful military. If these three combined they could give Israel a very hard time. So, helping to ensure Israel’s survival, a civil war in Syria broke out that has lasted since 2011 and wrecked the country. To cope with all the rebels in Syria, President Assad had to call in the help of Hezbollah. Thus Hezbollah was tied down fighting the rebels in Syria and left Israel alone. Egypt underwent a revolution and the Muslim Brotherhood, who hate Israel, took over. But after about a year the Egyptian army kicked out the Muslim Brotherhood. Now Egypt is full of internal strife and tension so they also leave Israel alone. Israel gave the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in return for peace with Egypt. That suits Egypt fine. Each nation is too involved in their own internal conflicts and thus are not too keen to attack Israel. Thus Israel is still able to keep surviving despite all the enemies that surround them.
A few Arab states have made peace deals with Israel recently, so the situation is slowly changing.
God is obviously starting to turn back to the Jews. Thus our Gentile days are numbered.
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
Bible scholars like Scofield and Larkin, writing their books between 1900 and 1920, got Israel’s future completely wrong because at that time circumstances dictated that it was impossible for the Jews to take over the Promised Land.
Larkin’s mistake was to look at the circumstances of his time rather than at the promise that God made to the Jews.
Larkin completely misunderstood Revelation Chapter 13 and as such never predicted the amazing dominance of America as the world’s greatest superpower during the Laodicean age that started in 1906 with the Pentecostal revival of the Holy Ghost baptism and gifts.
Larkin completely missed the Pentecostal revival as well. He makes no mention of it. Being a non-Pentecostal he saw no part for Pentecostals in the restoration of the Bride back to the original early church. He also missed the holiness aspect of Wesley’s age and did not grasp that Wesley added holiness and outreach to Luther’s restoration of salvation.
Larkin also completely missed the revelation of the seven stars. He had no idea what the messengers meant. He did acknowledge though that Luther dominated his age.
Doctor Larkin was a great scholar but he missed the mark on these issues. Larkin taught us a lot about the Bible but his insight into Daniel’s seventy weeks and the Book of Revelation were a bit off the mark. God would have to send someone else in our age to reveal the mysteries of those Scriptures, especially where they dealt with prophecy. Larkin got certain basics right, which was impressive, and brother Branham was able to build on these. This is typical of how human knowledge develops.
I am extremely grateful for the ministry of William Branham who taught us how to understand the Scripture so that we could build on what the earlier scholars got right, but then also be able to spot where they got it wrong. Thus we can now assemble the true revelation of the mystery of the covenant and the Great Tribulation (and many other topics).
Brother Branham did make mistakes, but what he got right was incredible, and it lifts our understanding of Scripture to a much higher level as he gave us a fascinating Big Picture of the main trends in the Bible. Like what original sin was (one of the church world’s best-kept secrets) so that we can understand why God demanded animal blood as the atonement for sin in Eden. His ability to run a theme through the Bible is amazing as he explains why there are always four living creatures around the throne of God, a lion, and an ox, and a man, and an eagle. Why are they in that order?
Then brother Branham has an incredible insight into the details of Scripture. The parable of the invitation to a wedding was given by a rich man in Luke but was given by a king in Matthew. Why the difference? The four Gospels stand as guards around the Book of Acts (which describes God in action in His early church). The Lion is the king of the beasts. So Matthew describes Jesus as the King of the Jews. Thus as King, Jesus invites people to His wedding feast in heaven at the end of the church ages. Mark describes Jesus as an ox. The strong burden bearer. Jesus is our perfect Servant, He carries our burdens for us. Then Luke, the doctor, describes Him as the perfect Man. Who knows a man better than a doctor? So it is a fellow human being, a kinsman Redeemer, who has shared our sufferings on earth and who now invites us to the wedding feast in glory. Each Gospel presents Christ from a different viewpoint.
As Einstein opened our eyes to a much deeper insight into the laws of Physics, so in a similar manner, William Branham opened our eyes to a much deeper insight into the revealed Word of God.
Yes, Einstein did make some mistakes. But what he got right was amazing. When Einstein was revealing Science, he was the best. We can say the same about brother Branham when it comes to revealing the Bible.
Einstein had many critics. His faults, real or imagined, were ruthlessly exposed in their books. He was human and thus, inevitably, far from perfect. But he was also voted “person of the century” in 1999. Element 99 was named Einsteinium in honour of his memory. Despite his flaws, he remains revered by most people as the greatest scientific genius of the last century. Why? Because they chose to remember him by what he got right rather than to focus on his mistakes.
Spiritual people can take a lesson from that when they analyze the ministry of William Branham.