by Oscar M. Baker
At the sound of the last of the seven trumpets in Rev. 11:15 the Lord takes over the kingdoms of this world and they become His. This means His own personal return to the earth to set up His kingdom. This same return and the same trumpet are mentioned in 1 Cor. 15:51, 52. His return is such a great relief to those who are going thru the tribulation that it is given to them to be caught up in the air to meet Him as He descends to the earth. The Greek word for meet here is the same as used in Acts 28:15 where the Christians came out from Rome to meet Paul. They, of course, accompanied him back as he kept on his way.
The disciples were expecting to go thru the tribulation. Our Lord prepared them for it and warned them that they would know when it had come by the sign of the great abomination in the Holy Place. (See Matt. 24:15). The Church of God at Corinth was expecting to go thru the same tribulation for the Last Trump marks the end of that time. Also Paul gives instructions to prepare them for that period in 1 Cor. 7. When that time comes some of the churches will suffer more than others. (See Rev 2 & 3).
Seventy weeks were determined upon ISRAEL AND THE HOLY CITY, (read Dan. 9) Since these weeks that are determined are upon the city as well as the people, then we must begin that period of time from the dedication of the temple in B.C. 405. If the parenthesis had not intervened, the time determined would have been ended about 85 A.D. The Great Tribulation then would have been from some time in 81 up to the end of 85. That means that the Millennium would have been completed and the New Jerusalem come down by the time Peter the Hermit was stirring up the people for the Crusades of the Middle Ages.
To the disciples and the church of god, the time was short, the day was at hand, the time was at hand, these things must shortly come to pass. He was to come quickly, and that generation was not to pass till all things had been fulfilled, (see 1 Cor. 7:29, Rom. 13:12, Rev. 1:3; Rev. 22:10; Rev. 1:1, 22:12, 22:20; Matt. 24:34).
The Lord said that some of His disciples would not experience death till they should see Him coming in His kingdom, (Matt 16:28). He also said that the High Priest who was in the office at that time would see Him sitting on the right hand of Power and coming in the clouds of heaven, (Matt. 26:24, Mark 14:62).
If the disciples had been led to see it, they could have figured out the time from Dan. 9. But the Spirit had not led them to understand this, and also the Lord as Son of Man chose not to know it, (Mark 13:32).
John, writing under the direction of the Holy Spirit, said in Rev. 1:7 that those who pierced Him would see Him coming.
All this could have been fulfilled easily if Israel had accepted the King and His Kingdom. But at the end of Acts this program was interrupted and another program which had been hidden in God from ages and generations was ushered in. A period of 1900 years already has intervened and still He has not come. Since there is no prophecy concerning this present age, no dates of any kind can be set. No one has any idea of when it will end. But it will end some day and the former program will again be taken up and finished, (Phil 1:6). From twenty-one to twenty-four years of the determined time must be fulfilled yet, but His body must be completed first.
The 12 were not to have finished evangelizing the cities of Israel till He should come, yet they are dead and gone and He has not come yet. Why? (see Matt. 10:23)
Originally published March 1949