For those not all that familiar with the word panoramic, it is the adjective form of the noun, panorama. From the Greek word, horama (which means “sight”), Webster’s Dictionary defines panorama as, “…2a: an unobstructed or complete view of a region in every direction; b: comprehensive presentation of a subject; c: range; 3: a mental picture of a series of images or events.”
Picture a helicopter circling over the Grand Canyon, with a panoramic 360 degree vista. Standing on Mount Everest with a wide-angle camera lens, shooting a spectacular scene that … seems to go on forever. Or reading four verses in the book of Daniel that bear a breathtaking bird’s eye (let’s make it an eagle) view of the two most influential men and significant events in mankind’s history and destiny. One man of light, life, salvation, and all that is good; the other for darkness, death, judgment, and all that is evil.
There are no greater prophecies in Scripture than those of Messiah’s coming to the earth that he created, not once but twice—commonly referred to by theologians as the First and Second Advent of Christ. Though the far greater majority of people on earth, past and present, have not accepted Messiah Jesus as their personal Savior; a vast number of people from every race, religion, and nation recognize the name of Jesus Christ.
(One of My Favorite Passages in All of Scripture … The 1st & 2nd Advent of Jesus in Two Verses)
So, too, have billions of people on this planet heard, seen, or read about the evil antithesis of Messiah Jesus. This corrupt counterfeit of Christ bears several names in the Bible: ruler, king, little horn, man of lawlessness, and beast. But he is most commonly referred to as: Antichrist.
As a student of Scripture, I have intently studied Bible prophecy since the 1970s. Yet it wasn’t until November, 2008, when I realized that some of the pieces of the prophetic puzzle on the Antichrist were not accurately assembled. It began with a dramatic disclosure from the Lord (proper discernment and application of two verses in Revelation 17) that the Antichrist had already lived and died before John even saw him (in the form of a beast) and wrote about him. The implication was staggering, to the extent that it changes and corrects the conception of a modern-day man rising to power as the Antichrist during the soon to come Great Tribulation.
After seeing the astounding vision of a woman (a great city, which is Rome … see the six-part Eye of Prophecy series, The Woman and the Beast, posted 10-12 through 11-16-13) sitting on a beast with seven heads and ten horns (this is the same beast depicted in Revelation 13), the angel explains the mystery, beginning with the beast. Said the angel to John:
“Why are you so amazed? …I will tell you the mystery of this woman and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns on which she sits. The beast you saw was once alive but isn’t now. And yet he will soon (abruptly, suddenly) come up out of the bottomless pit … And the people who belong to this world (the unsaved during the Tribulation) … will be amazed at the reappearance of this beast who had died” (Revelation 17:7-8; italics for emphasis, parenthesis mine).
There is absolutely no ambiguity with regard to what the angel told John. This beast (man) had already lived and died before John first saw it (him) in the first century.
Antichrist passages explored extensively in Out of the Abyss and several prior Eye of Prophecy articles are: II Thessalonians 2 (man of lawlessness); Daniel 7 (sudden appearance of the little horn, king to lead a ten-nation confederation); Daniel 11, Revelation 16 & 19 (Antichrist’s final advance on the Middle East and attack on Israel—Armageddon); Zechariah 11 (worthless shepherd); Revelation 13 (the Hebrew gematria number of the beast matching Nero Caesar and the fact that the world will be amazed at the miracle of his reappearance); Revelation 17 (the Antichrist had already lived and died but would return from the Abyss, to continue on a global scale what he began in the first century). And a panoramic passage which is the main focus of this week’s and next week’s article.
These riveting passages provide evidence of the geopolitical and biographical origin of the Antichrist—none other than the Roman Emperor Nero. With Revelation 17:7-8 presenting the foundational fact that the Antichrist’s appearance during the Tribulation is not that of a modern-day man born in that (our) generation. Whereas, the other Biblical references listed above (including the rest of Revelation 17) relay more specific details to narrow down the Antichrist “candidates” to one man.
*Note: As stated before in a few Eye of Prophecy articles, my identification of Nero as the Antichrist is neither a Preterist View (as they subscribe to the exceptionally erroneous conjecture that the Tribulation took place in the 1st century) nor is it new in the sense of being revelatory. Rather it is discernment from the Lord to revive the clear understanding of the early church (1st through 4th centuries) that Nero was, indeed, the beast of Revelation. For example, see Eye of Prophecy article: The Legendary Return of Nero, posted 4-4-15.
The first mention of the Antichrist (designation of king and little horn) is found in Daniel Chapter 7, which is Daniel’s dream vision of the four beasts—world kingdoms. Chapter 7 primarily confines the introduction to and exposure of Antichrist in the context of his sudden unexpected appearance (reappearance as Revelation 13 & 17 tells us some 600 years later) at the outset of the Great Tribulation.
(Beasts Symbolizing From Left to Right in Order … Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome)
However, there is one passage in Scripture (in just four verses) which panoramically juxtaposes and correlates the first and second coming of Messiah alongside of the initial appearance and then reappearance of the Antichrist. This passage is nothing short of astonishing, to include the precise amount of elapsed time until Jesus would be hailed as the Messiah in Israel—one week before his crucifixion and resurrection. It is also the passage that, more than all the others in Scripture, confirms that the Antichrist would be and was (as fulfilled some 600 years later in the 1st century) the Roman Emperor Nero—the man of lawlessness, the ruler, the little horn, and the king. This wicked man has been kept alive in the Abyss for some 2,000 years and will return as the Antichrist beast of Revelation.
This most sweeping of all Biblical prophetic passages is found in:
Daniel 9:24-27 (Vision of Daniel in 539 B.C.)
Let’s briefly look at the setting.
Daniel had been taken captive to Babylon during Nebuchadnezzar’s first attack against Judah in 605 B.C. Ezekiel was exiled to Babylon in the 2nd campaign of 597 B.C., with the third (and final) most destructive onslaught occurring in 586 B.C. when Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple were destroyed. Jeremiah was also a contemporary (older than Daniel and Ezekiel); however, he was never deported to Babylon.
In 539 B.C. right after Persia had conquered Babylon, Daniel read Jeremiah’s prophecy, “…that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years” (as quoted by Daniel in Chapter 9, verse 2).
That had been the warning given by God through Jeremiah to the two southern tribes of Israel—Judah and Benjamin. If God’s people persisted in worshipping false gods (idols) and refused to return to him, the prophecies given to Moses long before would come to pass—the final and most devastating of which was the inconceivable exile to foreign nations.
Daniel then proceeded to offer one of the most poignant and powerful prayers recorded in all of Scripture, acknowledging the unrepentant sins of the people and God’s perfect justice in judging them. Then pleading with the Lord to be merciful to him and his people. It was tantamount to asking the Lord to please remember his promise to limit the punishment to seventy years (Daniel 9:4-19).
Daniel had barely begun praying when God sent the angel Gabriel to him, but not just to answer Daniel’s prayer, as it was already a foregone conclusion that the Babylonia captivity would last for only 70 years. Rather, the Lord would give to Daniel an astounding panoramic prophecy concerning Israel’s future that would encompass the New Covenant of salvation and Israel’s ultimate physical and spiritual restoration; also times of great turmoil caused by both the first and second appearance of the anti-Messiah. And other phenomenal events that we’ll get to later in this and next week’s article.
Before we read the four verses of this powerful prophecy, let’s pick it up with Gabriel’s first words to Daniel:
“…Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding. The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God. Listen carefully so that you can understand the meaning of your vision” (Daniel 9:22-23).
(Depiction of Gabriel Appearing to Daniel, Who Would Have Been in His Early Eighties By This Time)
Here is Gabriel’s stunning revelation to Daniel, quoted in its entirety. However, for purpose of easier referencing later on, each verse will be cited individually.
“A period of seventy sets of seven has been decreed for your people and your holy city to finish their rebellion, to put an end to their sin, to atone for their guilt, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to confirm the prophetic vision, and to anoint the Most Holy Place” (Daniel 9:24)
“Now listen and understand! Seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven will pass from the time the command is given to rebuild Jerusalem until a ruler—the Anointed One—comes. Jerusalem will be rebuilt with streets and strong defenses, despite the perilous times” (Verse 25).
“After this period of sixty-two sets of seven, the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple. The end will come with a flood, and war its miseries are decreed from that time to the very end” (Verse 26).
“The ruler will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings. And as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him” (Daniel 9:27).
In just four verses, the angel Gabriel revealed a total of seven (once again illustrating the striking significance of the divine number seven) distinct components to this amazing prophecy. Some of the seven are well-known and sufficiently grasped by students of Bible prophecy; others have been misunderstood or misapplied, especially verse 26.
*Note: You may want to print the above portion of today’s article that quotes the four verses of Daniel Chapter 9, for easier reference as we proceed.
(1) The Seventy Weeks of Daniel
In Hebrew, the 70 weeks represent 490 actual years (one week equals seven years) of time that began with the Persian King Artaxerxes’s decree in 445 B.C.—recorded later in Nehemiah Chapter 2—allowing Nehemiah to return to Israel and rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. However, the 70 weeks (particularly the sweeping events depicted in verse 24), would also prophetically span the interlude between the first 69 weeks of this era and the remaining (70th) week.
Sixty-nine of these weeks (483 years) would end with the triumphant ride of Jesus on the back of a donkey (as foretold by Zechariah) into Jerusalem on what we now call Palm Sunday. Seven days later, Messiah Jesus would arise from the dead to seal the New Covenant of Salvation through faith in God’s grace … the substitutionary sacrificial gift of His Son. That is the (once for all) atonement spoken of in verse 24.
The 70th week would not commence until: “The end will come…” (verse 26) at which time the Antichrist would make a seven-year treaty with Israel (verse 27). From which we get the duration of the Great Tribulation, beginning with believers taken from the earth in the Rapture (I Thessalonians 4 & I Corinthians 15).
Take special note that the same ruler (Antichrist) introduced earlier in verse 26 is the one who orchestrates this seven-year treaty with Israel; separated by a (long) period of time before the 70th week would begin, as clearly conveyed in the last half of verse 26: “…The end will come…” Which perfectly matches with Nero’s first time/tenure on earth as a Roman Emperor to his return from the Abyss at the outset of the Tribulation.
At the end of that 70th week (seven years) when Messiah returns triumphantly to earth to set up his Millennial Reign, other of Daniel’s predictions in verse 24 will come to pass. Israel’s rebellion (their persistent refusal by the majority of Jews to accept Jesus as their Messiah) is finally ended when the remnant left at the end of the Tribulation embraces Jesus as their Messiah. First they will mourn for Jesus because they (and their ancestors) had denied him as their Messiah Savior (Zechariah 12:10-14). Everlasting righteousness will be established in the Kingdom of God, and the Most Holy Place (the 3rd Temple) will be divinely “anointed” or set apart for worship and prayer during the Millennium.
At that point the entire scope of the prophetic vision will have been confirmed … completed.
These 70 weeks would comprehensively comprise everything pertaining to Israel’s redemption (individually then nationally) and their ultimate physical and spiritual restoration to the Promised Land. In between the 69th and 70th week, the times of the Gentile domination would continue over Israel, which finally ended in 1967.
(2) Sixty-Nine Weeks to Messiah’s Arrival on Earth
Daniel gives us the starting point of that phenomenally precise prediction, and the Gospels tell us exactly when Messiah Jesus (“the Anointed One comes” … Daniel 9:25) fulfilled the prophecy as foretold in the following well-known passage:
“Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on donkey—riding on a donkey’s colt” (Zechariah 9:9).
Not until the appointed time during his marvelous and miraculous ministry on earth did Jesus allow Israel to “officially” acknowledge him as the long-awaited Messiah; even though his profound teaching and his powerful miracles that no one had ever done before proved that he was the Son of God … exactly who King David said the Messiah would be (Psalm 2 & Psalm 110).
Read with me from Matthew’s Gospel: “The two disciples did as Jesus commanded. They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it. Most of the crowds spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting.
‘Praise God for the Son of David (all Jews knew that term was equivalent to the Messiah)! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Praise God in highest heaven!’
“The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. ‘Who is this?’ they asked. And the crowds replied, ‘It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee’” (Matthew 21:6-11; italics for emphasis, parenthesis mine).
Although mentioned in subsequent Eye of Prophecy articles, here is an excerpt from an older article, An Incredible Prophecy Time-Lapse Prophecy (Posted 1-18-14). That article was all about the amazing discovery (disclosure) given to Sir Robert Anderson, published in 1894 in his book, The Coming Prince.
Once again, time/space prohibits extensive review of what he found, so I will highly condense his amazing discovery: Sir Robert Anderson calculated (with partial assistance from the Royal Observatory, Greenwich) the Julian date of King Artaxerxes edict to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem to have been March 14th, 445 BC. Furthermore, the Julian date for Jesus’s magnificent ride into Jerusalem was April 6th, 32 AD. By employing the Hebrew calendar, Sir Robert Anderson tallied 173,880 days had elapsed which is exactly 483 Jewish years!! Absolutely astounding! I repeat for emphasis: Incredible!!
Sir Robert Anderson factored in leap years and the 24 days from March 14th to April 6th. Some mathematicians/scholars determined that Anderson was two days off or so; but whether they’re right or Sir Robert was right, doesn’t matter all that much. The fact is: to calculate within two days, or two weeks, or two months, or even two years is remarkable. When you’re talking about 483 years, even a gap of two years still gives significant validation to the prophecy. Meaning that it’s not the God-given prophecy that’s a little off; rather, it might just be a slight miscalculation of what is a fairly complex system of balancing two calendars over such a long period of time.
Unless God, himself, directly inspires someone (such as the prophet Daniel), there’s absolutely no way for a man or woman to predict either the decree of Artaxerxes (some 95 years after Daniel’s vision) or the coming of the Messiah (some 483 years—Jewish calendar) years later to the year and the very day! Or, for that matter to predict anything, with or without a definitive time-frame of fulfillment, on an error-free, 100% standard of accuracy….
*Foot Note: Sir Robert Anderson recognized that Daniel’s prophecy was one (of a very few) Biblical prediction based on an actual calendar time-lapse projection … in this case regarding Messiah’s first coming. The insight given to me comes from the “hidden” gem of prophecy found in Leviticus Chapter 26, pertaining to the Lord’s second coming during the generation that would see the end of Gentile domination of the Jews in 1967. It also is based on a precise period of time, in this case the four phases of seven times over representing the actual historical time-line of God’s uninterrupted discipline of Israel.
(Sir Robert Anderson … 1841-1918)
See Eye of Prophecy articles, Seven Times Seven (to the 4th Power) Parts I, II, III; followed by The Omega Generation—published 1-25-14 through 2-15-14. Also refer to articles: Jubilee and Messiah … They Go Together! (1-25-16) & Double Israel’s Trouble and Double Her Blessings! (8-13-16).
Whether coincidental or not: Sir Robert Anderson was an Investigator for Scotland Yard and my profession was principally that of an Insurance Investigator.
(3) Messiah’s Death
“After this period of sixty-two sets of seven (69 sets of seven in all or 483 years—173,880 days), the Anointed One will be killed…” (Daniel 9:26a, parenthesis mine).
In Verse 25 the angel Gabriel describes (breaks down) the 69 weeks by saying, “seven sets of seven plus sixty-two sets of seven.” There could be two reasons for this: (1) sometimes the way in which the Hebrew language would (poetically) emphasize periods of time. But not just in Bible times. Do you remember a famous U.S. President who used the same kind of expression? “Four score and seven years ago…!”
(2) Gabriel is indirectly but nonetheless prophetically underscoring the time (seven weeks or 49 years) that would pass from the time of the Jerusalem walls decree to the 400-year period of silence when the Lord did not speak to his people through prophets, which is the last 400 years of B.C. time. Forty-nine years from 445 B.C. would lead to the year 396 B.C. which very well could have been the year when Malachi’s prophecies ended. Personally, I lean towards option 2.
Equally astonishing in Daniel’s Chapter 9 prophecy: Not only was Messiah’s arrival on Planet Earth (prophetically earmarked in time by thousands in Israel hailing him as Messiah exactly 173,880 days after the Artaxerxes decree) precisely foretold, so is the fact that he would be killed and that his death would occur BEFORE the 2nd Temple was destroyed (Verse 26). The implication of that fact is stunningly significant, in that there’s no other time for Messiah to (first) arrive other than before the temple was destroyed.
Here is an excerpt from Eye of Prophecy article: Where is Messiah … Is He Already Here? Posted 6-25-16. (In italics):
Daniel’s prophecy is unambiguously clear: The Messiah would appear before the destruction of the Temple, which took place in 70 AD. And that’s exactly what occurred … Jesus birth, life, death, and resurrection some 40 years before the Romans sacked Jerusalem, which irrefutably validates the accuracy of Daniel’s prophecy.
Whereas, the religious leaders and people of Jesus’s time scorned him for the reasons given thus far—most prominent of which was ignoring the plain evidence for the time of Messiah’s appearance and marginalizing or outright rejecting his teachings and miracles—all those who deny that he is Messiah after the Temple was destroyed have no grounds whatsoever to refute the Messiahship of Jesus.
Because they have the 20/20 hindsight of history, right up to the present day. The Messiah would come at the end of 483 years, exactly when Jesus rode on a donkey into Jerusalem … hailed by the people as the Son of David, the Messiah.
Then the Messiah would be killed BEFORE the Temple was destroyed by the armies of a ruler who would arise (shortly) AFTER Messiah arrived and was killed.
According to the time-line of Daniel’s prophecy, there is no way that the Messiah could (first advent) arrive on the scene of history AFTER the Temple was destroyed.
Daniel’s prophecy confirms prior predictions of Messiah’s death as found, for example, in Isaiah Chapter 53. Right up to this present day, the suffering of the Jewish Messiah is a source of consternation and bewilderment to many Jews, especially the observant among them. It is such a paradox that several Rabbis endorse the theory that there are two Messiahs, not just one. See Eye of Prophecy article, More Than One Messiah (12-5-15) and a companion article, Messiah’s Arrival … On Whose Authority? (11-25-15).
Or they continue to maintain that the personal pronouns applied to the Messiah (a man) speak of Israel as a nation in Isaiah 53. Which is impossible because no nation can be “an offering for sin” or “bear all their sins” or “had done no wrong” (Isaiah 53). The nation of Israel certainly couldn’t or wouldn’t be, “…buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave” (Isaiah 53:9).
(If I counted correctly, there are 36 personal pronouns of he, him, or his; plus “a man of sorrows” for a total of 37 references to an individual man–the Messiah–in Isaiah 53, a chapter with 12 verses)
I respect and admire and love the Jewish people and the nation of Israel. But with tough love I must say that for anyone, scholar or otherwise, to allege that the personal pronouns describing a man (the Messiah) in Isaiah 53 apply to Israel as a nation is a grammatically ignorant and/or deliberate contextual distortion of the passage.
For that matter, how could Messiah victoriously, but also humbly, enter Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt while at the same time appearing to Israel as their conquering King, liberating them from their enemies? In Biblical times, a king entering a city on a donkey was a gesture of redemptive-like resolution and peace, without the need for armed conflict. As opposed to a king riding into a city on a horse, symbolizing triumphant conquest in war. In fact, immediately after the verse quoted earlier from Zechariah (Messiah riding into Jerusalem on a donkey) we read:
“…I will destroy all the weapons used in battle, and your king will bring peace to the nations. His realm will stretch from sea to sea … to the ends of the earth. Because of the covenant I made with you, sealed with blood, I will free your prisoners…” (Zechariah 9:10-11).
The only possible explanation is that Messiah came first as Israel’s Sacrificial Redeemer to establish the New Covenant (sealed with his blood) prophesied by Jeremiah (Chapter 31), then will return as King of all kings to establish the Kingdom of God from Jerusalem.
Even before Isaiah 53, we read this in the preceding chapter:
“See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted (which is the only prophetic image most Jews have of Messiah). But many were amazed when they saw him (Isaiah is switching to the past tense to emphasize what must come first, even though the entire passage in prophetically future). His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance one would scarcely know he was a man” (Isaiah 52:13-14, parenthesis mine).
The Gospels vividly tell us that Jesus was struck about his face, part of his beard pulled out, beaten on his head with a rod, a crown of thorns placed on his head, and mercilessly flogged with a lead-tipped whip. Combine that with long nails driven through his wrists and feet on the cross and you get a graphic picture of Isaiah’s prophecy—that Jesus could hardly be recognized as a man.
But then immediately switching back to the future (return of Messiah), Isaiah states, “And he will startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence…” (Isaiah 52:15).
One day soon all of Israel will recognize beyond any doubt that Jesus is the Messiah when he returns to the Mount of Olives (from which he ascended back to heaven) and rescues the Jews from annihilation at the hands of Antichrist (Nero). Then and only then will their redemption as a nation be complete.
(4) Soon After Messiah’s Death, a Ruler (Antichrist) Would Arise
In amplification of Daniel Chapter 7 which deals primarily with the activities of the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation (although Chapter 7 does identify that this ruler would come from the 4th World Kingdom—Rome), Daniel 9 informs us when and from where the Antichrist would first appear as further supported by Revelation Chapter 17.
Long before the book of Revelation was written telling us that the Antichrist beast of the Great Tribulation had already lived and died in the 1st century (but would return from the Abyss), Daniel Chapter 9 paints a clear picture that this evil man would arise (soon) after Messiah’s birth, life, death, and resurrection.
We know that this ruler would appear soon after Messiah’s death, because of the qualifying language in Daniel 9:26. Beginning with:
“…the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple…” (Daniel 9:26a, italics for emphasis).
Here is an excerpt from my book, Out of the Abyss (in italics):
Another convincing reason to assign contemporary status, correlation, and connection between the ruler (Nero) and the Roman Legions of 70 AD relates to the ruler arising after the Anointed One (Messiah) is killed, “appearing to have accomplished nothing…” (Daniel 9:26).
If the ruler is a modern-day man, then this verse doesn’t fit. Worse, the first part of the verse is simply inaccurate. What am I saying? I am saying that, as this book is written, we can look back some 2000 years and clearly see the monumentally astounding accomplishments of Christianity. Yet Daniel 9:26 effectively tells us that the ruler will sequentially rise to power during the time that Messiah’s death “appears” to have accomplished nothing. In other words, the ruler would arise fairly soon after Messiah is killed.
Nero was born just three to four years after Christ died, and he ruled as Emperor just two-three decades after Christ’s resurrection and return to heaven. Christianity was still in its infancy. To the populace of Israel, the Roman Empire and world at large, the tragic death of Jesus of Nazareth seemed to have accomplished very little. To Jewish Zealots, Jesus’s death accomplished absolutely nothing … It took several centuries for Christians and the secular world to comprehend the increasing influence that the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ had exerted on the world (Pages 256-257).
(Busts of the First Five Roman Caesars …. Left to Right: Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero)
The next paragraph after the above excerpt reads:
“Stating it bluntly: the Roman Legions of 70 AD could not be of, from, or belong to a ruler born some two thousand years later. This would stretch the chain that binds the Roman Legions of 70 AD to a modern-day man to the breaking point. Remember again: this ruler or king originates directly from the fourth world power (Roman Empire) of Daniel Chapter 7. The ruler does not come from a future 7th empire, because there is no such empire in the book of Daniel, as there are not seven heads to the beast of Daniel, only the ten horns (tribulation kings)” (Out of the Abyss, page 257).
Which leads us to the next remarkable feature of this four-verse passage in Daniel Chapter 9, as hinted at in the preceding paragraph just quoted. But one that will need to wait until next week’s Part II article!
That next point is:
(5) The Armies (Roman Legions) That Destroyed the 2nd Temple Belonged to Nero Caesar
As opposed to the impractical notion of these Roman legions belonging to a ruler who wouldn’t be born for another 2,000 years.
Points 6 & 7 will also follow in next week’s article, to, among other things, further demonstrate that Nero is the Antichrist, because the same ruler whose armies destroyed the Temple will initiate the seven-year treaty with Israel (at the outset of the Tribulation).
Things to Ponder
As with other visions seen by Daniel, I’m sure he was overwhelmed at the magnitude of all that Gabriel was telling him, particularly because the breadth of it was comprehensively condensed to a few sentences.
All of the seven component prophecies explained to him by Gabriel as recorded in Daniel 9:24-27 were astounding. But I think the one which probably stunned him the most was the fact that the Temple would be rebuilt. And then destroyed yet again! By a ruler who would arise shortly after Messiah was killed, which he already knew would happen by virtue of Isaiah and King David’s prophecies of Messiah’s death. Yet Daniel didn’t need to wait long to see the unfolding of the rebuilt Temple facet of these seven prophecies.
Less than a year later, the Persian King Cyrus, in his very first year of reign after conquering Babylon, issued a decree that the Jews could return to Israel and rebuild the Temple (See Ezra Chapter 1)!
Although Jeremiah had prophesied that the Babylonian Captivity would last only 70 years, God had not disclosed to him that the Temple would be rebuilt. In fact, it was the year when the Temple was finally finished (516 B.C.) which completed the 70 year-exile of the Jews, after Solomon’s Temple was demolished in 586 B.C.
Do you see how graciously the Lord answered Daniel’s prayer for mercy on and forgiveness of Daniel’s people, the Jews? Not only would the Jews return to Israel (some of them, as not all agreed to go back), the Temple itself would be rebuilt! That’s grace and mercy that only the Lord God can express in real time and in concrete ways. And then the Lord gave Daniel a condensed but nevertheless panoramic view of Israel’s future and destiny like virtually no other found in Scripture. One, however, that we can understand even better than Daniel, if we eagerly and thoroughly compare Scripture with Scripture and also history … particularly the 1st century
(Depiction of The Third Temple Superimposed on Temple Mount Next to the Dome of the Rock)
“Indeed, the Sovereign Lord never does anything until he reveals his plans to his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).
“The time has come, says the Lord, when the grain and grapes will grow faster than they can be harvested. Then the terraced vineyards on the hills of Israel will drip with sweet wine! I will bring my exiled people of Israel back from distant lands, and they will rebuild their ruined cities and live in them again … I will firmly plant them there in their own land. They will never again be uprooted from the land I have given them, says the Lord your God” (Amos 8:13-15).
To the Gentile believers in Rome, the Jewish Apostle Paul wrote:
“Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves. Now if the Gentiles were enriched because the people of Israel turned down God’s offer of salvation, think how much greater a blessing the world will share when they finally accept it” (Romans 11:11-12).
Long live Israel!
Long live Messiah Yeshua!