Q. I had the idea that the primary indicator of the beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week is the appearance of the AC. So, what is the difference between his “appearance,” as a powerful, or soon-to-be-powerful, political figure, and his revealing as the AC? Is he revealed when he commits the Abomination (which sets off the Great Tribulation), or is he revealed as the AC before that?
Along the same line, I always thought the 70th Week martyrs suffer because they will not accept the mark, and that is after the Abomination. If it isn’t that, what produces the persecutions that result in the martyrdom of a huge number of believers before the requirement to take the mark?
A. The primary indicator of the beginning of Daniel’s 70th Week is the covenant that permits building a Temple, because a Temple is required for Old Covenant worship. The anti-Christ will be at least an emerging world leader with the clout to give the covenant the force of law, but I don’t think he’ll be seen for what he will become at that time. Remember the church will be gone and we’re the only ones who would care about this. He’ll be revealed for who he is in the middle of the 70th week but by that time the whole world will worship him (Rev. 13:8).
The great multitude that shows up in heaven in Rev. 7 will be martyrs. Rev. 7:14 says they will have come out of the Great Tribulation, which sounds confusing since it won’t have begun yet. Turns out the Greek word translated “out of” means out of the time as well as the place of the Great Tribulation. (It’s the same Greek word from Rev. 3:10 where the Lord promised to keep the Church “out of” the time of trial.) In other words these believers will be martyred before the Great Tribulation begins.
I believe their martyrdom is due to the fact that they will have been radically converted by the rapture. They’re the fence sitters of today. They know a lot about the end times but aren’t be serious enough to become born again, and wont’ be until it’s too late. The rapture will be like a lightning bolt to their heart and they’ll become unshakable in their belief, causing a lot of trouble for unbelievers who won’t want to hear that the Bible is true. They’ll probably have figured out the A/C identity as well, and will try to warn everyone who he really is. The only way to shut them up will be to kill them.