A Deep Dive into Daniel — Part 15 — The Amazing Precision of Prophecy

“So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress. Then after the sixty-two weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing …”

Daniel 9:25-26

In my last post, I demonstrated how the LORD has decreed 70 weeks of years — or 490 years — to accomplish His prophetic purposes through His people Israel. When revealing the vision to Daniel, the angel Gabriel makes notable divisions in the weeks, which is why most scholars and Bible students interpret the 70 weeks as broken into defined periods of time, not as one continuous interval.

Now within the Christian community, there are many different interpretations of how these divisions are to be understood. Most preterists believe that all 70 weeks have been fulfilled in the past, culminating with the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. Many futurists also disagree about the interpretation of these divisions, especially in how they are connected to the first advent of Christ. One easily can get lost in the weeds when trying to determine how to calculate years using solar, lunar, or sabbatical measurements and so on.

Granted, this prophecy creates some challenges, and my aim in this post is not to be too technical but simply to explain how I interpret the divisions of the 70 weeks. More than anything, my goal is bring God glory for the precision of His prophetic word!

StartING the Clock

The Issuing of the Decree to Rebuild Jerusalem

Daniel received this vision roughly 100 years prior to the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. Biblical historians have identified several candidates for which decree was in view for this prophecy, but only one decree fits the description. The decree of Persian King Artaxerxes (circa 445-444 B.C.) is the only one that specifically called for the rebuilding of the city Jerusalem and its walls. This decree is connected to the ministry of Nehemiah.

So the prophetic clock started when King Artaxerxes gave the command to rebuild Jerusalem in 444 B.C. Gabriel did reveal to Daniel that there would be a division of seven weeks = 49 years = and then another division of 62 weeks = or 434 years.

Many have debated what the first division of 49 years signifies. Some believe it refers to the amount of time required by Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem. Others suggest it is connected to the close of prophetic ministry of the Old Testament.

Either way, to simplify the first part of this prophecy, the clock began at the decree of Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem, which triggered the start of 483 prophetic years (49+434=483).

What matters most is that Gabriel gave Daniel a precise timeline for the arrival of the Messiah the Prince. In other words, the long-anticipated Messiah of Israel was predicted to come 483 years after the decree to rebuild Jerusalem.

That is an amazingly precise prediction, and that is precisely what happened.

The Coming of Messiah the Prince

“So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat, even in times of distress.”

Daniel 9:25

As God would have it, the ministry of Yeshua of Nazareth, the Messiah, culminated precisely 483 years after the giving of the decree by Artaxerxes. Most calculations place the exact date of fulfillment at the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem.

  1. The decree from Artaxerxes as recorded in Nehemiah 2:1-8,17-18 given on March 5, 444 B.C.
  2. 483 sabbatical years (the first 69 weeks) were fulfilled to the day on March 30, A.D. 33, the date of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. (This is 476 years according to the Julian Calendar). Jesus was crucified four days later on April 3, A.D. 33.

Critical scholars and many Jewish scholars scoff at this amazing prophecy because of its accuracy. But one obvious observation remains, if Daniel’s prophecy is correct — which it is! — then the Messiah of Israel should have been revealed somewhere around 30 A.D. Is it mere coincidence that Jesus of Nazareth began His public ministry precisely at this time? If not Jesus, then what other possible candidate fulfills this prophecy?

Daniel’s prophecy most likely explains why there was such a universal expectation for the Messiah when Jesus arrived on the scene. Unfortunately, many of the Jews were expecting the conquering King to deliver Israel from the oppression of the pagan Roman Empire.

But had the Jews simply read Daniel’s prophecy a little closer, they would have learned that not only would Messiah come at this time, but also that He would be cut off — dying not for Himself.


Messiah will be Cut Off

After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.

Daniel 9:26 — NIV

Daniel’s prophecy is clear that the advent of Messiah would result in His death. As the King James Version says, “Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself.” There is no clearer prophecy in all of Scripture that describes the coming ministry and tragic death of Messiah. Only Jesus Christ fits the profile and fulfills this prophecy. No other figure in the history of the nation of Israel even comes close.

In my next post, I will address the “people of the prince to come,” and I will demonstrate how the “prince” to come is in reference to the Antichrist because of his connection to the abomination of desolation. But for now, I do hold the interpretation that the prophetic clock was put on hold at the death of Christ, which means the final 7 years — Daniel’s 70th Week — is yet future.

Here are my top reasons why I believe this last week has not yet been fulfilled.

  1. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ initiated the times of the Gentiles, as the LORD expanded His reach and extended His saving grace to all nations through the redemptive work of Christ. I have written extensively about this unique “summer” season of grace — read here. The Great Commission will continue until the full measure of the Gentiles is complete [see Luke 21:20-24, Romans 11:25-26]. At that time, the LORD will redirect His attention exclusively to the redemption and restoration of His people Israel.
  2. Jesus and Paul referred to this prophecy in Daniel and the abomination of desolation as the sign of the end of the age, which is yet future. [see Matthew 24:15-29 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8]
  3. The 70th week is a 7 year period, and Daniel is told that the Antichrist will cause the sacrifices to cease and set up the abomination of desolation in the “middle of the week.”
  4. There are multiple prophetic passages that designate 3.5 years as the period of time that Antichrist (little horn) will have authority and God’s people will be persecuted. This timeframe is also given as 1,260 or 1,290 days [Daniel 12:11, Revelation 12:6], 42 months [Revelation 13:5], or times, time, and half a time [Daniel 7:25, Revelation 12:14]. Obviously 3.5 is half of 7 years, so I believe that the final prophetic week — the last 7 years — is yet future and will mark the definite end of the age.

Next time I will investigate how Daniel’s 70 weeks relates to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and how the people of the prince to come may not be who you think.

Until then — Maranatha!

A Deep Dive into Daniel — Part 14 — 70 Sevens are Decreed

“Seventy [sevens] weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place.”

Daniel 9:24

The entire Bible is Israel-centric — emphasizing the chosen people of God and the chosen land of God. Daniel’s prophecy of 70 weeks [Hebrew shabua – שְׁבוּעַ] is no different. God has revealed through this prophecy that all of His purposes and plans for His people will be fulfilled in a determined window of 490 years.

In the same way Daniel understood by reading the prophet Jeremiah that the Babylonian exile would be 70 years, Gabriel informed Daniel that the entire prophetic program of Israel would fit into a period of 70 times 7 years = or 490 years. Much of what was prophesied — the first 69 weeks — initially has been fulfilled at the first coming of Messiah, but there remains a final 7-year period — one last week — to bring everything to its appointed end. This final shabua is sometimes referred to as Daniel’s 70th week, and it is yet future.

Before I examine some critical details, I should address one unfortunate objection that many raise to this and many other Biblical prophecies. Some distinguish the covenant people of Israel from the Gentile believing community and claim that this prophecy does not pertain to the “church.” Others are preterists and believe that all 70 weeks of this prophecy has been fulfilled in the past. Both ideas of replacement theology and preterism grossly have misinterpreted the prophetic word and disregard the future salvation and restoration of Israel on the Day of the LORD.

As a Gentile believer, I have been incorporated into the commonwealth of Israel. I have been adopted into the family of Israel. I have been grafted in to the original tree of Israel. I have been granted the blessing to participate in the everlasting covenants of Israel. I have been given the right to enjoy God’s eternal promises made to Israel. I have become a citizen of the Kingdom of Israel to serve the King of Israel — Yeshua.

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Galatians 3:28

You get the point. One God. One people. One faith. One kingdom. One Lord Jesus Christ.

Now this is important because Daniel’s prophecy of 70 weeks has been decreed about God’s people (Israel) and God’s holy city (Jerusalem). Having been granted the privilege to participate in the commonwealth of Israel, this prophecy applies primarily to covenant Israel — first the Jew — but also to all believers for all time.

So let’s look a little closer at how God has promised to bring about these specific conditions at the completion of Daniel’s 70th week.

  1. To finish the transgression
  2. To make an end of sin
  3. To make atonement for iniquity
  4. To bring in everlasting righteousness
  5. To seal up vision and prophecy
  6. To anoint the most holy place.

All Israel will be Saved!

Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,

“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
“and this will be my covenant with them
when I take away their sins.”

Romans 11:25-27

The first three promises that will be fulfilled at the conclusion of the 70th week involve a surviving remnant and the leadership of Israel corporately turning to God in repentance and faith — believing in Jesus Christ. In this way, the perpetual transgression and rebellion of God’s people will be finished, God will take away their sins and banish ungodliness from Jacob, and the atoning sacrifice of Christ will be applied to all who believe. This will happen when Christ returns — the Deliverer who comes from Zion!

There is no short supply of passages that describe this amazing turning of Israel to Messiah at the end of the age. Here are a only a few.

“And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.”

Zechariah 12:9-10

“On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.

In the whole land, declares the LORD,
two thirds shall be cut off and perish,
and one third shall be left alive.
9And I will put this third into the fire,
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.
They will call upon my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, ‘They are my people’;
and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”

Zechariah 13:1, 8-9

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

Jeremiah 31:33-34

The Coming Kingdom of Everlasting Righteousness

When the Lord Jesus Christ returns as King of kings and Lord of lords to establish His kingdom on earth, then and only then will there be everlasting righteousness. At the end of the 70th week, this present age of injustice and evil will be brought to a close and the new age of justice will dawn upon the earth.

Again, there are so many passages that convey this fulfillment. Here are some key Scriptures concerning everlasting righteousness.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

But about the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”

Hebrews 1:8-9

To Seal up Vision and Prophecy

One of the amazing benefits of the return of Jesus will be the revealing, fulfilling, and unveiling of all mysteries, prophecies and visions. Our faith will become sight and all things will fall into place as we are changed and transformed into the image of the Lord Jesus. Everything will make sense for the very first time, and beyond that, we will have access to the personal teaching of Messiah Himself, as He will expound on the Word of God and open up the Scriptures to us in ways we never conceived or imagined.

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.”

1 John 3:2

For the earth will be filled
with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.”

Habakkuk 2:14

God’s Holy Hill — Zion — Will be Anointed

As I shared in my last post, Zion is God’s dwelling place forever and throughout all generations. When Christ returns, He will take His rightful place on His throne upon the holy mountain of God, which is Mount Zion in Jerusalem. At that moment, Zion will be the most holy place in the universe.

This reality has not yet happened — when heaven and earth are reunited under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Consider how the Scriptures speak of the day when God will anoint His most holy place and dwell with His people once again.

It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the LORD
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be lifted up above the hills;
and all the nations shall flow to it,
and many peoples shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go forth the law,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Isaiah 2:2-3

“In that day the branch of the LORD shall be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the land shall be the pride and honor of the survivors of Israel. 3And he who is left in Zion and remains in Jerusalem will be called holy, everyone who has been recorded for life in Jerusalem, 4when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion and cleansed the bloodstains of Jerusalem from its midst by a spirit of judgment and by a spirit of burning. 5Then the LORD will create over the whole site of Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud by day, and smoke and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there will be a canopy.”

Isaiah 4:1-5

“So you shall know that I am the LORD your God,
who dwells in Zion, my holy mountain.
And Jerusalem shall be holy,
and strangers shall never again pass through it.

Joel 3:17

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”

Revelation 21:1-3

As you can see, Daniel’s 70th week has yet to be fulfilled. Next time, we will take a look at the amazing prophetic precision of the first 69 weeks — or 483 years — and how they were fulfilled at the first coming of Jesus Christ!

A Deep Dive into Daniel — Part 12 — The Abomination of Desolation

“So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”

Matthew 24:15-16

Picking up in the prophetic visions of Daniel, we have come to first mention of what is known as the abomination that causes desolation. This single future event is “the sign” that will trigger the beginning of the end. When the Apostles asked Jesus what signs would precede His return and the end of the age, Jesus pointed to the abomination of desolation “spoken of by the prophet Daniel.” This abomination is performed by the Antichrist — aka the “little horn” or the Beast.

Daniel explicitly mentions this pivotal event at least 4 times [Daniel 8:13, 9:26-27, 11:31, 12:11]. Jesus reminds us of the necessity to “let the reader understand” Daniel’s prophecies in order to recognize when the great tribulation will begin.

As I shared in my last post in this series — read here — part of the profile of the Antichrist will be to cause the daily sacrifices in the Temple to cease. As we await the inevitable reconstruction of the Third Temple, it is just a matter of time before the Jews reenlist the Levitical priesthood , reinstitute the sacrificial system, and resume animal sacrifices in Jerusalem.

Once the Antichrist intervenes and puts an end to the daily sacrifices, then he will proceed to desecrate the Temple with some type of abomination that triggers the time of Jacob’s trouble. The satanic wrath unleashed toward God’s people during the great tribulation will leave Israel and Jerusalem desolate. Let’s take a closer look.

Defining the Terms


In order to gain a better understanding of what the abomination of desolation will be, it is important to define the terms.

An abomination from a Biblical perspective is anything God declares evil, wicked, perverse, or shamefully vile; a detestable or profane behavior; an object or state that induces loathsome disgust and abhorrence. There are several categories identified by Scripture for abominations.

  1. Heathen gods, such as Ashtoreth (Astarte), Chemosh, Milcom, Baal, the “abominations” of the Zidonians (Phoenicians), Moabites, and Ammonites, respectively (2 Kings 23:13), and everything connected with the worship of such gods. 
  2. Anything offered to or associated with the idol, all the paraphernalia of the forbidden cult, was called an “abomination,” for it “is an abomination to Yahweh thy God” (Deuteronomy 7:25, 26). For example, the Israelites participated in the abomination of offering of their own children to Molech in ritual child sacrifice.
  3. Everything akin to occult practices of magic or divination is an abomination; as are sexual transgressions (Deuteronomy 22:5Deuteronomy 23:18Deuteronomy 24:4), especially incest, homosexuality, and other unnatural offenses: “For all these abominations have the men of the land done, that were before you” (Leviticus 18:27; compare Ezekiel 8:15).

As noted before, the most significant historical prototype of the Antichrist was the Syrian tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes IV [175-164 B.C.], who prohibited worship of Yahweh, desecrated the Temple by erecting an altar and performing ritual sacrifices to the pagan god, Zeus. The foreshadowing of Antiochus provides the historical backdrop for the future abomination of desolation to be performed by the Antichrist.

Jesus, preaching some 200 years after Antiochus, would most certainly have this event in mind when prophesying about the final fulfillment of Satan’s blasphemous defiance.

When it comes to the the sign of the end, any combination of these abominations is on the table as far as I am concerned. After laying siege and conquering Jerusalem, I would expect nothing less from the Antichrist than to enter the Jewish Temple, erect an altar to Satan (the Dragon), perform occult ritual magic followed by child sacrifices, topping it all off with some form of grossly perverse sexual escapade.

This abomination apparently will performed publicly because Jesus says that when we “see” it, it’s time to flee because the desolation of Jerusalem has come. Daniel and Paul both share interesting details surrounding this critical event.

Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate32He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. 33And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder. 34When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery, 35and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time. 36“And the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak astonishing things against the God of gods. He shall prosper till the indignation is accomplished; for what is decreed shall be done.

Daniel 11:31-36

“Let no one deceive you in any way, for [that day] will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness—the son of destruction—is revealed. He will oppose and exalt himself above every so-called god or object of worship. So he will seat himself in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.”

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4


The word desolation is an interesting Hebrew word that carries the meaning to lay waste, destroy, depopulate, ruin, or to desert. It is imperative that we understand the connection between the abomination that “causes” desolation. It is the abominable act of the Antichrist that will lead to, or cause, the desolation of Jerusalem and the land of Israel.

This final invasion of Israel has been foreshadowed as well throughout history through the invasions of the Assyrians [722 B.C.], Babylonians [586 B.C.], Romans [70 A.D.], and Muslims [636 A.D.]. Like these brutal invasions by ruthless pagan kings, the abomination of desolation will lead to devastating war, bloodshed, captivity and total plundering of the Holy Land.

Nearly all of the prophets spoke of this day of final desolation. Jesus reminds us once again that this time of desolation is yet future.

““But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. 21Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, 22for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written23Alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! For there will be great distress upon the earth and wrath against this people. 24They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.”

Luke 21:20-24

The great tribulation will be a time of unparalleled desolation. There will be wars and revolutions and famines and earthquakes and great distress among the nations. There will violence and bloodshed and lawlessness. There will be demonic deception and intense persecution of God’s people — both Jews and Christians. There will be divine judgments poured out on the earth and divine provision for God’s people. This also will a time of great purification and refining for the saints, as precious metal is refined through the fire.

The Bible says that from the abomination that caused desolation is set up, there will 3.5 years for the Antichrist to exercise power and authority over the nations. It is the sign of the end of the age. Those who are wise must understand.

Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, two others stood, one on this bank of the stream and one on that bank of the stream. 6And someone said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, “How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?” 7And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished. 8I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” 9He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end. Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand. 11And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days12Blessed is he who waits and arrives at the 1,335 days. 13But go your way till the end. And you shall rest and shall stand in your allotted place at the end of the days.”

Daniel 12:6-13

A Deep Dive into Daniel — Part 11 — The Daily Sacrifice will Cease

Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one who spoke, “For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled underfoot?” And he said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.”

Daniel 8:13-14

Before diving into the complexity of Daniel’s vision in chapter 9 concerning the 70 weeks, I need to back up and drill down on some important details provided in Daniel 8. Although it is easy to get lost in the proverbial “weeds” of this vision, there are several key details that can be identified and rightly interpreted concerning the last days and what Jesus calls the “abomination of desolation.”

For time’s sake, I will acknowledge that the historical archetype of the Antichrist is most prominently portrayed in the person of Seleucid Tyrant, Antiochus Epiphanes, about which you can read here. While Antiochus provides a type and shadow of the coming son of destruction, he is nothing compared to the last days Antichrist.

Daniel 8 must be interpreted with Antiochus in the forefront of the vision — partially fulfilling the prophecy in history — but also by seeing the Antichrist in full view during the future appointed time of the end. The little horn described in Daniel 8 is the coming man of sin, and this chapter provides key clues about his campaign in the Holy Land of Israel.

“Then from one of the prominent horns came a small horn whose power grew very great. It extended toward the south and the east and toward the glorious land of Israel.”

Daniel 8:9 — NLT

Antichrist will Cause the Daily Sacrifice to Cease

In A.D. 70, hoards from the Roman legions in the Middle East laid siege to Jerusalem and turned it into rubble. Although Roman General Titus commanded his soldiers to preserve the Jewish Temple, the enlisted Syrian and Arabic soldiers defiantly set fire to the Temple, burning it to the ground. Once Titus realized that the Temple complex was lost, he ordered his troops to cast down the massive stones in order to salvage as much gold as possible.

Jesus had predicted this very thing some 40 years earlier.

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

Jesus left the temple and was going away, when his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, I say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

Matthew 23:37-39, 24:1-2

The Roman siege of A.D. was devastating, leaving the city of Jerusalem and the holy Temple desolate. The Jews were slaughtered, carried into captivity, and dispersed as a people for over 1,850 years. The Levitical priesthood was abolished, the ceremonial rituals ended, and the daily sacrifices ceased. To this very day — despite the miracle of the rebirth of Israel in 1948 — there is no Temple in Jerusalem, which means there is no sacrificial system.

So the obvious line of logic is … without a Temple in Jerusalem, there is no sacrificial system, and without a sacrificial system, then how will the “little horn” cause the sacrifices to stop?

The simple and logical answer is that the Jews will be permitted to rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem and resume their ceremonial system of worship, according to the law of Moses. A third Temple in Jerusalem is not just possible, it’s not merely probable, it is prophetically promised. The stage is already set for the reconstruction of the Temple, it will only take the right political players and conditions to give the green light.

Jesus Himself said the sign of the end of the age would be the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel. He said that when we see the Antichrist standing in the holy place — the inner sanctuary of the Temple — then we know the clock for the great tribulation has begun.

“So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.”

Matthew 24:15-16

Now consider how the Scripture connects the activity of the Antichrist with the prohibition of the sacrifices in the Temple. Once the Temple is rebuilt and the regular burnt offerings are permitted again in Jerusalem, the Antichrist will eventually put an stop to it and defile the sanctuary with his abominations.

“It (the little horn) became great, even as great as the Prince of the host. And the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown. And a host will be given over to it together with the regular burnt offering because of transgression, and it will throw truth to the ground, and it will act and prosper.”

Daniel 8:11-12

“And he (Antichrist) shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator.”

Daniel 9:27

“Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate.”

Daniel 11:31

“And from the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that makes desolate is set up, there shall be 1,290 days.” 

Daniel 12:11

So from the time that the regular burn offerings begin to the end is 2,300 days, and the time from when they are cut off and taken away is 1,290 days. These give us some parameters for the tribulation period.

Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one who spoke, “For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled underfoot?” And he said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.”

Daniel 8:13-14

A Deep Dive into Daniel — Part 9 — The Little Horn Rising High as Heaven

“And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land. And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them.”

Daniel 8:9-10 — NKJV

As I’ve said in my earlier posts, the visions of Daniel can be both daunting and downright difficult to interpret. Daniel chapters 7-12 is overlaid with cross references that describe the same subject matter from different perspectives. None of the parts in Daniel can be rightly interpreted independently of the whole. It is important to identify the common phrases, ideas, and images to make the connections and build a complete picture.

When it comes to the identity, ascension, and activity of the little horn — aka the Beast or Antichrist — there are some deeper waters to navigate. It is easy to get bogged down in the finer details, so I will do my best to focus on one component at a time.

As I shared in my last post, Daniel 8 begins by providing the geopolitical backdrop behind the emergence of the little horn. The little horn will emerge after a regional war between Turkey and Iran. He will start out relatively small but eventually will grow exceedingly great.

The little horn will supplant three other regional kings and begin to advance militarily to the south [Egypt], the east [Iraq/Iran] and toward the Glorious Land [Israel].

The next part of the vision in Daniel 8, however, takes an unexpected turn and is nothing less than mysterious. The little horn will “grow up” to the host of heaven and “cast down” some of the stars to the earth and trample them.

So the obvious question is … in what way does the little horn — this earthly king — grow exceedingly great up to the host of heaven? What does that mean? How are we to interpret such a concept?

The language about the host of heaven and the “stars” deserves a closer look.

The Host of Heaven

“You are the LORD, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.

Nehemiah 9:6 — ESV

The Biblical concept of the heavenly host always alludes to the angelic beings who operate in the spiritual realm. The Bible says that there are myriads upon myriads of these heavenly beings, an innumerable host that exists behind the scenes. These heavenly beings are often referred to as “stars,” bright celestial entities that are far removed from our earthly realm.

Some of these stars are divine princes who remain loyal to Yahweh — the Most High God — while others are divine rebels who have followed the path of Satan. These evil principalities and powers in the heavenly places seem to be in some way subservient to the prince of demons and the prince of the power of the air — Satan — the god of this age. This is precisely why the LORD warned the Israelites about the temptation of forsaking Him and bowing down to the heavenly host.

“And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.”

Deuteronomy 4:19 – ESV

So if the little horn grows in power, even to the host of heaven, then he somehow is interacting and interfering with the spiritual realm. Although there may be various speculations and conjectures about how an earthly, human ruler potentially could engage in some type of spiritual warfare with the “stars” of heaven, I will share my interpretation here.

I believe the key to understanding this prophecy has everything to do with the supernatural union of the little horn with Satan himself. If this son of destruction becomes the earthly vessel of the devil, then he and the devil will be one as it were. So as the little horn expresses power and authority while waging war on earth, Satan will be working behind the scenes in the spiritual realm, waging war with the stars in heaven. In other words, the little horn is the earthly reflection of the devil, who is the spiritual reflection of the little horn. They mirror each other.

We know that Daniel 8 says that the little horn somehow casts down the stars of heaven and tramples on them. Let’s take a closer look at Revelation 12 to see how this potentially will play out in the last days.

WAr in Heaven

Most Bible scholars see the direct correlation between Daniel 8 and Revelation 12. I believe these parallel passages provide some clues of interpretation concerning the little horn.

Let’s read Daniel 8 and Revelation 12 together.

“And out of one of them came a little horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Glorious Land.  10And it grew up to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and some of the stars to the ground, and trampled them.  11He even exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down.  12Because of transgression, an army was given over to the horn to oppose the daily sacrifices;and he cast truth down to the ground. He did all this and prospered.”

Daniel 8:9-12 – NKJV

“And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems. His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth.

Revelation 12:3-4 – ESV

These two passages are most certainly connected. The Dragon — who is the Devil — cast down 1/3 of the angels — the stars of heaven — and threw them to the earth. The common language is undeniable, but the classic interpretation of Revelation 12:4 is wrong in my opinion. Almost every commentary will suggest that the “stars” in this verse represent the evil angels who are loyal to Satan and are the same group of angels mentioned in Revelation 12:9.

But I believe Daniel 8:10 and Revelation 12:4 are describing something else entirely. I believe the Dragon first delivers a considerable blow to the good guys by defeating 1/3 of the heavenly host, casting them down and trampling on them. The language of these verses clearly implies that the Dragon and little horn are hostile to these “stars,” not friendly.

Why else would the Antichrist be trampling on these stars? Why would the Dragon sweep his own angels down and cast them to the earth? That seems counterproductive to say the least. No kingdom is divided against itself. That is why I believe Daniel 8:10 and Revelation 12:4 are describing a heavenly assault against the loyal angels that results in a considerable blow to the angelic army. Satan exalts himself as high as the Prince of the host — which is the Lord Jesus Himself [Daniel 8:11].

Now I don’t pretend to understand everything about this prophecy, but I believe it is yet future. Contrary to what almost every Christian has been taught, Satan never convinced 1/3 of the angels to follow him. The reference here to 1/3 of the angels are the good guys. Satan launches a successful attack against the stars in heaven and casts them down and tramples on them.

I’m not sure how all of that plays out in spacetime, but I believe it is the only possible explanation that makes sense of Daniel 8 and the rise of the little horn.

An all out war breaks out in heaven AFTER this initial trampling of the stars of heaven, which is described in the following verses in Revelation 12.

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer.  9So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. 10Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.  11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.  12Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.

Revelation 12:7-12 — NKJV

So in response to the Dragon’s initial attack, Michael will rise up against the Dragon and finally will cast him and his angels down to earth. Satan will be expelled from heaven and confined to the earth.

It is at this point that the Dragon — Satan — will give all of his authority and power to the little horn and unite himself to the son of destruction, creating the Beast.

“The dragon gave him [the Beast] his power, his throne, and great authority.”

Revelation 13:2

Once the Beast — or little horn — has all of Satan’s power and authority he will boldly pursue total domination and destruction. Daniel 8 speaks to this. The king of bold face will succeed, not by his own power, but by the satanic, supernatural power of the Dragon.

“And in the latter time of their kingdom,

When the transgressors have reached their fullness,

A king shall arise,

Having fierce features,

Who understands sinister schemes.

His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power;

He shall destroy fearfully,

And shall prosper and thrive;

He shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people.”

Daniel 8:23-24 – NKJV

In my next post, we will begin to develop the concepts surrounding the sanctuary and the profane transgression known as the abomination of desolation.

A Deep Dive into Daniel — Part 5 — The Little Horn will Prevail over God’s People

“Strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”

Acts 14:22

When Jesus gave His Olivet Discourse about the end of the age, He provided the general scope and basic timeline but did not get too deep into the fine details. Jesus told His disciples that the prophet Daniel had the details, and if the disciples wanted to put all the pieces together, then they needed to read and understand the book of Daniel first.

“So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand) …”

Matthew 24:15

In my last post, I focused on the early career of the “little horn,” which is another name for the end-times Beast — or Antichrist. The Antichrist may start small, but he will come boasting of big things and speaking blasphemies against God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Once the little horn assumes power and creates his Middle Eastern empire, he will begin expanding his reach around the world and unleashing his wrath on the people of God. The global persecution of the saints is one of the clearest characteristics of the campaign of the Antichrist, which can only mean one thing.

Believers — aka saints — will be on the earth during the great tribulation to face the Antichrist and even suffer at his hand.

This flies in the face of the popular “pre-tribulation” view of the rapture, which falsely teaches that the saints will be removed from the earth prior to the tribulation period. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Remember, Jesus told us to read Daniel and to understand his prophecies in order to have an accurate eschatology, so I intend to do just that.


The overwhelming majority of Daniel’s prophecies are concerning the appointed time of the end, which culminates with the return of the Son of Man on the clouds in power and glory to crush the evil empire of the Beast and establish His everlasting Kingdom.

That’s the end game, but Daniel also provides some key details about the events leading up to the return of the LORD. One of those details involves a defined period of time for the Antichrist to prevail over God’s people.

Let’s take a closer look.

“As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.”

Daniel 7:21-22

Daniel provides more details just a few verses later.

“He shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for a time, times, and half a time.

But the court shall sit in judgment,
and his dominion shall be taken away,
to be consumed and destroyed to the end.”

Daniel 7:25-26

Daniel himself provides many more details about the campaign of the Antichrist against God’s people, which I will save for later, but for now allow me to show how the testimony of the Biblical prophets is also in full agreement.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake … For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.”

Matthew 24:9, 21-22

“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brothers should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.”

Revelation 6:9-11

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Revelation 7:13-14

And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. 6It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, 8and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. 9If anyone has an ear, let him hear:

10If anyone is to be taken captive,
to captivity he goes;
if anyone is to be slain with the sword,
with the sword must he be slain.

Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.

Revelation 13:5-10

I could provide many more Scriptures to support this sobering reality. The Antichrist will be given authority to make war and conquer God’s people — which will include a campaign against both ethnic Israel and all believers on the earth.

And if you have noticed the timeframe provided by many of these passages, the Antichrist will be given this authority for 3.5 years.


When we get to Daniel 9, I will do my best to interpret the 70 weeks of Daniel’s prophecy, and more specifically the 70th week — which represents a unique 7-year period. Having said that, I am not fully convinced that Daniel’s 70th-week refers to the final 7 years of human history, although it could.

Furthermore, I fully reject the notion that the Great Tribulation is a 7-year period. There is no Scripture that teaches that the Great Tribulation — which will be the worst time in human history — will be 7 years.

The only definitive period of time that we are given in Scripture is 3.5 years, or 42 months, or 1260 days. If I have to put a timeframe on the Great Tribulation, then I believe it will fall within this 3.5 year period before the Lord Jesus returns.

Let’s compare some of the passages again.

He shall speak words against the Most High,
and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
and shall think to change the times and the law;
and they shall be given into his hand
for a time, times, and half a time [
3.5 years].

Daniel 7:25

“And the woman [Israel] fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days… But the woman [Israel] was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time. 15The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood. 16But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth. 17Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.”

Revelation 12:6, 14-17

And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. “

Revelation 13:5

After describing the 3.5 year period of tribulation, Daniel reminds us of the rest of the story. Jesus returns and crushes Antichrist and saves His people.

“They [the saints] shall be given into his hand
for a time, times, and half a time.
But the court shall sit in judgment,
and his dominion shall be taken away,
to be consumed and destroyed to the end.
And the kingdom and the dominion
and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven
shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;
his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,
and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”

Daniel 7:25-27

While the little horn will prevail for a season, Jesus will return in glory to crush him and establish His everlasting kingdom, which shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High!

Next time I will introduce Daniel 8, as we investigate another future conflict that must take place before the revelation of the Antichrist.

666 & The False Prophet

“This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.”

Revelation 13:18

The Biblical meaning of a false prophet is someone who speaks falsely “in the name of God.” Therefore, I believe the end-times False Prophet will emerge from within a Judeo-Christian context, having an outward appearance of a godly man of the “cloth” but at the same time speaking blasphemous lies in the name of Jesus. The False Prophet will also possess immense supernatural powers, using signs and working wonders to deceive the world.

Beyond using supernatural and spiritual powers, however, the False Prophet is described as using two additional methods of influence during the great tribulation.

  1. The Image of the Beast
  2. The Mark of the Beast

Many have undertaken the task of trying to decipher what these two mysteries may be. In full disclosure, I don’t claim to know what the image and the mark of the Beast will be, but I do have some thoughts concerning the possibilities.

The Image of the Beast

“And by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived.”

Revelation 13:14

What is the image of the beast? Some have proposed that it is some type of satanic statue or idol that will be set up in the Third Temple, which will involve the abomination of desolation [see Matthew 24:15, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4].

Others still have suggested that it will be some type of holographic/virtual image that the Beast uses to appear before the masses.

Consider what the Greek word, image, means in Strong’s Concordance.

  • Strong’s 1504 eikṓn (from 1503/eíkō, “be like”) – properly, “mirror-like representation,” referring to what is very close in resemblance (like a “high-definition” projection, as defined by the context).

When we understand that Jesus Himself is called the “image” of the invisible God — the exact imprint of His nature and likeness — it helps provide some context to the “image” of the Beast. The image of the beast will most likely be some type of human-like representation of the Antichrist. Here are some possibilities.

  • The image of the Beast could be some type of cyborg replica of Antichrist who is given “life” by the False Prophet. By life, I believe that either artificial intelligence or a demonic spirit is in view.
  • The image of the Beast could be some type of genetic hybrid who resembles the Antichrist and is given “life.”

But why would the Beast — who already will be a man in physical form — need a human-like replica of himself?

I believe the answer is most likely found in the second half of Revelation 13:14. The Beast — or the human leader — apparently will suffer some type of mortal wound and either appear to die or actually die, only to be brought back to “life” as the image of the Beast. All things considered, this could be a pseudo-miracle performed by the False Prophet that astonishes the whole world and causes them to worship the Beast, whose mortal wound was healed.

If we understand Satan’s desire to mimic and pervert all that God has done, then it is not unreasonable to believe that the Antichrist will perform some type of “resurrection” from the dead to imitate Christ. I am of the opinion that this demonic resurrection will produce the image of the Beast, further deceiving the lost inhabitants of the earth to worship him. Any failure to follow suit will most likely result in martyrdom.

“And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.” 

Revelation 13:15

The Mark of the Beast

“Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.”

Revelation 13:16-17

Finally, we see the False Prophet using economic control over the masses, preventing anyone to buy or sell without first being “marked,” either on the right hand or the forehead.

What is this mark of the Beast?

The Greek word for mark used here in Strong’s Concordance is number 5480 xáragma. It can refer properly to an engraving (etching), brand or stamp and also can refer to an identification symbol or badge, giving irrefutable connection between parties. Think of the Jews in the Holocaust who were forced by the Nazis to wear the star of David for identification. Notice that the mark is also called the “number” of the name of the Beast, or 666.

Once again, I can’t be dogmatic about this mark, but here are my thoughts.

  • The mark of the Beast is at the very least a universal identification system that can be globally monitored through modern technology.
  • The mark of the Beast could employ some type of microchip or nanotechnology that can implanted into the skin of willing individuals or delivered via some form of vaccination or inoculation campaign.
  • The mark of the Beast will be in some way outwardly recognizable and visible as to distinguish between those who have taken it or not.
  • The mark of the Beast, in my interpretation, is the “seal” of the Antichrist, which is the antithesis of the seal of the Holy Spirit.
  • True believers who are sealed with the Holy Spirit and who possess the mind of Christ will refuse to voluntarily take the mark, even if it costs us our lives.

Although the Beast and his kingdom will be concentrated in the Middle East, his reach and control will be global because of the technological component of the mark. Global tracking and data gathering has never been an option until now, and the Antichrist will take full advantage of GPS monitoring systems and 5G technology.

The Revelation of Jesus warns believers that the kingdom of darkness and the rule of Antichrist will last 42 months (3.5 years) and that we must be prepared not only to face the Beast, but also to be willing to suffer and die in resistance to his satanic system. This is just one of many reasons why I believe the church will be present on the earth during the great tribulation — or the last 3.5 years — before the return of Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself gives a personal call to the saints to have endurance through this time of great trouble.

Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear:

“If anyone is to be taken captive,
to captivity he goes;
if anyone is to be slain with the sword,
with the sword must he be slain.”

Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.

Revelation 13:7-10

Furthermore, I believe only those who are seduced, deceived, or intimidated by the False Prophet to take the mark — and do so willingly — will be taking the seal of the devil and deliberately rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ. I do not believe a true believer who is sealed with Holy Spirit should worry that he or she will somehow be tricked or forced into the taking the mark of the Beast. For those who truly belong to Christ, they will not love their lives, even unto death. The words of Jesus ring true.

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, 18and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.19When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour. 20For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, 22and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 23When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.” [Matthew 10:16-23]

Those who willingly take the mark, however, are consciously pledging full allegiance and giving themselves over to the Beast. Their end is sealed.

And another angel, a third, followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.”

Revelation 14:9-10

We are living in the last days. May all God’s people be prepared for what is coming upon the earth in the years to come. We will need God and His presence and power more than ever, and we will need one another like never before.

Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.

The Superpowers of the False Prophet

The False Prophet is called a “beast” in Revelation 13. The term beast in this context is best understood as a leader/ruler with authority and power over a designated group of people. His purpose is to promote allegiance and worship of the first beast — the human leader known as the Antichrist — and also to utilize the supernatural powers of the Dragon to deceive the whole world. Whereas the first beast — the Antichrist — is described in terms of a political/military figure, the second beast — the False Prophet — is portrayed as a religious/spiritual figure of significant influence.

In my last post I made the case that the False Prophet will be a renown religious leader who speaks lies and heresies “in the name of God,” which means that he will almost certainly emerge from within the modern Christian “church” as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He outwardly has the appearance of a lamb (false christ), while inwardly he is a ravenous wolf speaking like the devil himself [Revelation 13:11].

Authority and Idolatry

“It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.”

Revelation 13:12

The False Prophet will exercise authority on behalf of the Antichrist, and his job will be clear. He is to use whatever means possible to cause the inhabitants of the world to submit and worship the Beast. As the verse above says, the False Prophet will “cause” or “make” the peoples of the earth bow down to Antichrist and pledge full allegiance to him.

Just as a side note, there is one primary belief system in the world today that gains “converts” by using force, intimidation, terror, and subjugation — Islam. The essence of Islam is jihad — or holy war — which is designed to introduce shariah law to every newly-conquered territory. Shariah forces infidels — those who do not believe in Allah or his prophet Mohammed — to convert, die or become a classless slave of the Islamic system.

Now while I do believe that the first “Beast” will emerge from an Islamic context and will rule over a Middle Eastern empire, I do not necessarily believe the False Prophet will be a Muslim imam. He most likely will use the terror of shariah law and exploit the authority of the Antichrist, causing many to worship the Beast for fear of their lives. All who would save his life, however, will lose it for bowing down to another god and worshiping this profane Beast. This is an assault of the first commandment of God. We are to have no other gods before Him.

Satan’s original sin was born out of his pride and arrogance and his desire to exalt himself above God [Isaiah 14:12-14, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4], and the False Prophet will be tasked with using whatever means necessary to make the whole world bow at the feet of the Dragon. Just as the Holy Spirit testifies to God the Son and points people to Jesus, the False Prophet will point the world to the Beast. The last days will reveal a wicked and corrupt generation that practices universal idolatry, blaspheming the One True God and His Son Jesus Christ, while giving glory to the devil.

The Scriptures reveal, however, that the False Prophet will use other means of influence to sway sinners to surrender to the power and control of the Beast.

Supernatural Signs and Wonders

“It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.”

Revelation 13:13-15

You can read other posts that I have written about the coming deception and the dangers of the apostate church. The spirit of the age is sweeping through our world and the stage is being set for mass deception. Satan is using a strategic combination of moral relativism, political correctness, doctrinal compromise, sexual perversion and seduction, governmental corruption, occult fascination, academic indoctrination, technological isolation, and substance addiction — among other things — to keep the world in his grasp.

I believe the False Prophet will employ all of these methods of seduction and deception when he arrives on the scene, especially when it comes to using artificial intelligence, virtual reality, genetic engineering, and nanotechnology.

But the False Prophet will also have a secret weapon — superpowers!

There seems to have always been a fascination with being superhuman — godlike. It’s the oldest lie of the devil … you shall be like gods!

The False Prophet will be able to access supernatural powers to woo the crowds and wow the masses. Revelation 13 says that he will be able to make “fire come down from heaven” and somehow give “breath,” or life to the image of the beast. His power is reminiscent of Satan’s vicious attack on Job by bringing fire down from heaven to destroy his herds [Job 1:16], as well as an imitation of the prophet Elijah during his standoff with the false prophets of Baal.

Although the Bible calls these “false” signs and wonders, that does not mean that they necessarily are “fake” like an elaborate magic show. The power of the False Prophet will be quite real, but it will be false in the sense that it will be used to deceive and lead the world astray.

The Apostle Paul also speaks of this coming supernatural demonstration of power in the last days. Those who have refused to love the truth and be saved will be deceived. Only those sealed with the Holy Spirit and possessing the mind of Christ will be able to resist the unbelievable powers on display in those days.

“The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.”

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

Finally we see the unholy trinity in Revelation 16 — the Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet — sending three unclean spirits to the kings of the earth to gather for the battle of Armageddon. Again, these spirits perform supernatural “signs” in order to deceive.

“And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty.”

Revelation 16:13-14

As God’s people, we must maintain a healthy balance between the supernatural power of God as demonstrated by the Spirit of God and the authoritative truth of God as revealed in the Word of God. Jesus warned the religious leaders of His generation, as well as ours, about being obsessed with signs and miracles and wonders and seeking those things above God.

And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” So he left them and departed.

Matthew 16:1-4

In other words, we have all the validation we need from God in His revealed word and the true testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is not to deny God’s ability to perform miracles and show mighty wonders. It is simply a warning about motivations. If we need a sign to validate God’s word, then we are dangerously setting ourselves up for deception.

Next time I will conclude this miniseries on the False Prophet by exploring the possible scenarios involving the mark of the beast and the image of the beast.

Who is the False Prophet?

“But the beast was captured along with the false prophet, who on its behalf had performed signs deceiving those who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. Both the beast and the false prophet were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.”

Revelation 19:20

When it comes to the study of eschatology, or end times, the Antichrist — aka the Beast — usually gets the lion’s share of attention. The Scriptures speak of another “beast,” however, who will play a significant role in deceiving the world in the last days.

The False Prophet

My aim is to use the next several installments to build a Biblical profile of the False Prophet in order to help the body of believers become better equipped to identify him and his deceptive powers. The Lord Jesus consistently warned us about the spiritual deception and false wonders that will characterize the last days. If God’s people are not spiritually and doctrinally prepared, we are in danger of being led like lambs to the slaughter.

False Prophets and the Spirit of Antichrist

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.”

1 John 4:1-3

The Apostle John reminds us that the spirit of antichrist was at work in his day and that many antichrists have already come into the world [1 John 2:18]. John connects false prophets with the spirit of antichrist, which is the satanic spirit at work that blinds the minds of unbelievers and keeps the whole world in spiritual darkness.

John first heard this directly from the Lord Jesus Himself, when He taught his disciples about the coming dangers of the last days and the deceptive methods of the evil one. Concerning the signs of the end times, Jesus warned his disciples about false prophets and false “messiahs” more than anything else.

And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray … And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray … For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand.”

Matthew 24:4-5, 11, 24-25

Just as there have been many antichrists who have come into the world, there also have been many false prophets. All of the antichrists and false prophets up until this point have been precursors and predecessors to what the Bible identifies as “the” Antichrist and “the” False Prophet. These two dynamic and demonic leaders will emerge on the world stage in the last days as the very personification of evil and incarnation of the devil. We should only expect to see a rise in the satanic spirit of the antichrist and in the number of false prophets in these last days, leading up to the revelation of these two unique “beasts.”

And what are we seeing in our world today? Just a surface glance at the modern spiritual landscape of the world and the church at large reveals a mass departure from sound doctrine that has created a pseudo-religious culture with an obsession for occult spirituality, personal mysticism, and ecstatic, emotional experiences. Even more telling is how much the spirit of antichrist has infiltrated the “church” — aka modern Christianity.

The first thing we must understand about the False Prophet is that he will most certainly emerge from a Christian context as a representative of the church.

The Pseudo Prophet

The name “False Prophet” is one word in the Greek — pseudoprophétés — which means one who teaches what is false “in God’s name.” The same can be said of the term “false christ” — pseudochristos — which means a pretend Messiah. These terms are used purposely to convey to believers that these dangerous and demonic imposters will emerge from within the church itself.

A false prophet in general is someone pretending to speak the word of the Lord (prophesy) but in fact is phony (an imposter), acting as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. So when it comes to “the” False Prophet, spoken of in the book of Revelation, we can be sure that he will be speaking deceptive lies and heresies in the very name of Jesus Christ.

The first mention of the False Prophet in Revelation 13 provides imagery that confirms his true nature as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He may outwardly represent the “Lamb,” but inwardly He is a servant of Satan — the Dragon.

“Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon.”

Revelation 13:11

Stay tuned for next time, as I will begin to look more closely at the power and authority of the False Prophet and his role during the great tribulation.

The Day of the LORD — The Siege of Jerusalem

“Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it.”

[Zechariah 12:2-3]

If there is one word that best encapsulates the nature of the Day of the LORD, it is the word Convergence. The Day of the LORD will be that monumental point in time when everything in heaven and on earth converges in unimaginable climatic finality. It as if all the collective forces of the entire universe — visible and invisible — will be accelerating from every possible direction and will collide at the very same place and time.

Of course once the dust clears, there will be One standing above all — His name is Jesus. It will be His day and His day alone.

We may not know precisely when everything will converge in the end, but we at least will know when the end is near and when the return of Jesus is close at hand, even at the very gates [Mark 13:29]. Although it is not for us to know the exact time … we do know the place.

The Scriptures unequivocally are clear that the Day of the LORD will converge in one pre-determined place on earth — Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is the spiritual epicenter of the world and the unique geographical location on earth where God Almighty has chosen to place His name and laid special claim [see 1 Kings 11:36]. Therefore, it should be no surprise that on that Day all the collective forces of evil will gather and lay siege to the holy city Jerusalem.

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath. Thus says the LORD: I have returned to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts, the holy mountain.”

[Zechariah 8:2-3]

Jerusalem — A Cup of Staggering

The Middle East provides the original historical context of the Biblical narrative, which simply means that all of the events and accounts in the holy Scriptures occurred within the Middle East. Nestled in the heart of the Middle East in the Promised Land — Israel — and more specifically the city of Jerusalem. Therefore, all that originally began in Israel and the Middle East also will inevitably end there.

The prophet Zechariah provides some of the most interesting details about the Day of the LORD and the fate of Jerusalem in the last days. The LORD describes the scene in Zechariah 12, saying that on that Day the peoples immediately surrounding Jerusalem will converge in a drunken rage to lay siege to the city, not to mention “all the nations of the earth” [Zechariah 12:3].

This last day invasion of Israel and siege of Jerusalem is emphasized by the prophets, Apostles, and Jesus Himself, and their testimony overwhelmingly agrees. This may not be the first time in history that hostile armies have laid siege to Jerusalem, but it most certainly will be the last.

The horrific, historical accounts of the destruction of Jerusalem both in 586 B.C. and again in 70 A.D. were but typological shadows of the final invasion in the last days. As we will see, the testimony of the Biblical prophets all point us to the final siege of Jerusalem at the end of the age, culminating with the Day of the LORD.

The Beast and His Armies

“And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”) And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.”

[Revelation 16:13-16]

Biblical eschatology is complex and enigmatic to say the least. When reading the prophetic passages describing the siege of Jerusalem and the final battle of Armageddon, however, one thing is clear. An evil tyrant king — aka the Antichrist — will emerge on the world stage in the last days and successfully will unite the kings of the earth and their armies to invade the Holy Land and lay siege to Jerusalem.

Now when it comes to the identity and end-time exploits of the Antichrist, or Beast, there is no shortage of differing interpretations and proposed scenarios. Elements of timing and geography are challenging, yet with careful study we can at least put the pieces of the prophetic puzzle together and begin to form a picture of the Beast and his kingdom.

The prophetic writings of Daniel and Ezekiel lay the groundwork for the beast imagery and provide a composite overlay of the collective territories that most likely will be aligned with the Beast in the last days.

For instance, I firmly am convinced that the Antichrist will rule a Middle Eastern kingdom — NOT a revived Roman Empire. For a deeper study on this, I encourage you to read Joel Richardson’s free online book, Mideast Beast, which is one of the most comprehensive Biblical explanations of why the Antichrist must emerge from and rule over a predominately Middle Eastern kingdom.

Again, apocalyptic literature uses mysterious symbols like “beasts” and “statues” and “horns” to describe the kingdoms and kings who will be aligned with the Antichrist in the last days. Although the scope of this post will not attempt to parse the intricacies of apocalyptic symbolism etc… I will at least provide some basic facts that help provide context for those surrounding nations involved in the final siege of Jerusalem.

  1. The Antichrist is foreshadowed by many ruthless historical figures, such as Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Antiochus Epiphanes, Haman, etc…
  2. Other Old Testament titles for the Antichrist include the Assyrian, Gog, the cruel master, the king of the north, and the “little horn”
  3. The Antichrist will emerge from obscurity (little horn) and gradually will gain influence and power through intrigue, political diplomacy and deceptive schemes.
  4. As the Beast grows in popularity and political power in the Middle East, the Bible says that he will begin forming strategic alliances and launching military campaigns throughout the region. Some will resist at first (i.e. Egypt) but eventually the Beast will become an irresistible force.
  5. The Beast will form a military coalition of 10 kings, according to Revelation 17, which may or may not be in addition to his previous alliances.
  6. With the help of the false prophet and demonic deception, the Beast also will convince the kings from the east to join him for the final battle for Jerusalem.
  7. Armageddon — of the Valley of Megiddo — is the wide-open plain in northern Israel where the Antichrist and his hoards will gather for battle, but the intensity of the battle will actually take place in and around Jerusalem.

The 4 Beasts of Daniel — A Composite Kingdom

“As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces. As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings.”

[Daniel 7:23-24]

“And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. These are of one mind, and they hand over their power and authority to the beast. They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”

[Revelation 17:12-14]

Although I cannot be certain about the entire complexion of this end-time alliance of nations, the Bible does at least provide some clues and also some specific names that help fill in the blanks. The kingdom of Antichrist will consist of 10 kings/kingdoms, who eventually will relinquish all authority to the Beast.

Beginning with the 4 beasts in the book of Daniel (Daniel 2 & 7), I believe that the prophet received a composite picture of the end-times empire of the Antichrist. The beast kingdoms in Daniel’s visions were Babylon, Medo-Persia, Javan (Ancient Greece/Macedonia) and then a fourth terrifying beast unlike all the others — which I believe describes the revived Islamic Caliphate/Ottoman Empire.

These 4 “beasts” create a composite of the historical territories that were conquered and ruled by these successive kingdoms. In short, all of these ancient kingdoms are included in what is modern-day Middle East. Territories like Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Northern Africa immediately come into view. Again, these are the same modern territories that encompass Israel.

It is worth noting that all of these nations today are overwhelmingly Muslim majority nations. The maps below provide a visual representation of what the Mid East Beast kingdom could be.

Gog, of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal

“Therefore, son of man, prophesy, and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord GOD: On that day when my people Israel are dwelling securely, will you not know it? You will come from your place out of the uttermost parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great host, a mighty army. You will come up against my people Israel, like a cloud covering the land. In the latter days I will bring you against my land, that the nations may know me, when through you, O Gog, I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.”

[Ezekiel 38:14-16]

The next context clue we discover is in the book of Ezekiel, and it involves the last-days invasion of Israel at the direction of Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Again, the Antichrist is in full view here. Gog is a clear description of the end-times Beast, leading his hordes of evil armies against Israel.

Fortunately, Ezekiel provides historical geographic locations that can easily be linked to modern-day nations in the Middle East, further building the composite picture of the end-times kingdom of the Antichrist.

“Persia, Cush, and Put are with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer and all his hordes; Beth-togarmah from the uttermost parts of the north with all his hordes—many peoples are with you.”

[Ezekiel 38:5-6]

Any preliminary study of the ancient world will show that Magog, Meschech, Tubal, Gomer and Beth-togarmah all refer to modern-day Turkey/eastern Greece — or what was known as Asia Minor in Biblical days. See the map below.

Persia is modern-day Iran. Cush represents modern day Sudan, while Put represents modern-day Libya. Again, this brings Northern Africa into view.

The Kings from the East

“The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east.”

[Revelatin 16:12]

The final piece of the Armageddon puzzle refers to the kings from the east, which potentially could include armies from Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, and possibly China. Although we can’t be sure, I believe Islam will be the ultimate unifying factor in this massive assembly of armies.

Potential Territories of the Kings from the East


The final invasion of Israel and the siege of Jerusalem will be led by the Antichrist (Gog, the Beast) and will involve a massive Middle Eastern army from the surrounding nations. This assembly of hostile armies will most certainly include Israel’s closet neighbors like Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria [Psalm 83], but also will involve the predominantly Muslim nations of the greater Middle East and Northern Africa.

The Scriptures are filled with depictions of this final battle for Jerusalem and also of the subsequent outpouring of wrath on the nations by King Jesus Himself. I would like to leave you with a sample of these prophetic passages that describe this fateful battle on the Day of the LORD.

Hasten and come, all you surrounding nations,
and gather yourselves there
Bring down your warriors, O LORD.
Let the nations stir themselves up
and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
for there I will sit to judge
all the surrounding nations

Put in the sickle,
for the harvest is ripe.
Go in, tread,
for the winepress is full.
The vats overflow,
for their evil is great.

Multitudes, multitudes,
in the valley of decision!
For the day of the LORD is near
in the valley of decision
The sun and the moon are darkened,
and the stars withdraw their shining.

[Joel 3:11-15]

“Therefore wait for me,” declares the LORD, “for the day when I rise up to seize the prey. For my decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out upon them my indignation, all my burning anger; for in the fire of my jealousy all the earth shall be consumed.”

[Zephaniah 3:8]

For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.

[Zechariah 14:2-3]

“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation has come near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, and let those who are inside the city depart, and let not those who are out in the country enter it, for these are days of vengeance, to fulfill all that is written.”

[Luke 21:20-22]

“And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.”

[Revelation 19:19-21]