Prior to the commencement of the 70th seven of Daniel, there are certain prophetic events which must be fulfilled. These events are prophetic markers that warn believers of the nearness of the end of the prophetic gap of time between the 69th and the 70th sevens of Daniel(indeterminate intermediate period), the so called the timeless period, the Church Age, the Gentile interlude or the Mysterion, and the beginning of the 70th seven itself. In this article, we shall examine these prophetic events in the light of our times in order to determine the closeness of the commencement of the 70th seven of Daniel.
(1) The Return Of Jews To The Land Of Israel In Unbelief.
For the 70th week of Daniel to be fulfillled, Jews must be back in Eretz Yisrael, the land which God gave them and their forebears. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and the Holy City of Jerusalem”(Dan. 9:24). Sixty-nine weeks are now history. We live in the prophetic gap of time between the 69th and the 70th sevens. The Scriptures also promise the regathering of the Jews to the land of Israel in unbelief prior to the commencement of the 70th seven.
”And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whether the Lord thy God had driven thee,…… And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and He will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the Lord thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. And the Lord thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, which persecute thee. And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the Lord, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. And the Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the Lord will again rejoice over thee for good, as He rejoiced over thy fathers:”(Deut.30:1, 5-8).
The sequence of events as foretold in this passage of is of utmost importance. First, verse 1 speaks of blessings and curses which would come upon the Jews in Eretz Yisrael as they obey or flout the commandments of the Lord, and their global dispersion, the diaspora as a consequence of their disobedience. Secondly, in verse 5, their physical restoration to the land of Israel is promised. Thirdly, their spiritual restoration is promised in verse 6. Fourthly, in verse 7, the defeat of their enemies by the God of Israel is promised. Fifthly, a future is referred to, when all Israel shall obey the commandments of the Lord their God. And lastly, a future time of prosperity that will come to the land and people of Israel, a consequence of their obedience to the commandments of God. This future time is of course synonymous with the Millennial Reign of their Messiah, Jesus the Christ our Lord.
This sequence of events is reflected in the prophet Ezekiel’s prophecy of the restoration of Israel:
”For I will take you from amongst the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, and I will cleanse you. And a new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.”(Ezek.36:24-26).
It is clear from this passage that Israel will return to the land in unbelief. A lot of human efforts go into this regathering, but clearly the hand of the Lord is behind it. The modern State of Israel was established in the spirit of self-reliance, strategy and industry and alliances of the Jewish people. After its return to the land, Israel will need cleansing from sin and purification of heart. Again this will be by the handiwork of the Lord. After the Holocaust of the Second World War, Israel returned to the land in sinfulness and unbelief, as dry bones(Ezek.37:11). Some of the early pioneers were atheists. Some even practised Buddhism. Although Israel has experienced successes in military, economy, Science and technology, and indeed every area of human endeavors, and has contributed immensely, out of proportion to the paucity of her number, to the betterment of the human condition, this is by no means near the promised prosperity in the Millennium. Whereas the present successes of Israel are seen in the spirit of self-reliance, their increases in the Millennium will be clearly seen as the handiwork of God.
(2) The Re-establishment Of The State Of Israel.
Following the destruction of the Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in 70 AD, Jews were scattered all over the world, the so called diaspora. After the Bar Kochba Revolt(132-135 AD), Jerusalem was ploughed with yokes of oxen, rebuilt, renamed Aelia Capitolina, by Roman Emperor Hadrian and Jews were barred from it under the pain of death. For nearly two millennia, the land of Israel lay desolate. The hope of recreating a Jewish state in Palestine was like a nebulous dream. Although there was never a time when there were no Jews in the land of Israel, even in Jerusalem, they were no longer in control of the land. They were in the minority.
Several powerful kingdoms ruled over the land. There was The First Arab Period, The Umayad, The Crusaders, The Second Arab Period, The Mamalukes, the Abbasids etc. For four hundred years, the land of Israel was ruled by the Ottoman Turks(1517-1917 AD), until defeated by the British general Edmund Allenby in 1917 during the First World War.
During the Enlightenment, Jews in Europe were assimilated into the European nations in which they lived. The Enlightenment worked better in western European nations like Germany, Austria, France. Theodor Herzl, the Austrian Jew reputed to be the father of the modern state of Israel was an assimilated Jew. What roused his passion for a Jewish homeland in Palestine was the Dreyfus Affair in France. Theodore Herzl was a journalist covering the Dreyfus Affair in France for an Austrian newspaper. Captain Alfred Dreyfus was an officer in the French Army who was falsely accused of espionage. Dreyfus was a Jew. During the trial, Herzl saw the antisemitism to which Jews were subjected in Europe, and decided that the best thing for the Jews was to seek an independent homeland of their own. At a stage, Britain offered Uganda to the Zionists which was soundly rejected.
The movement to establish a national home for Jewish people is called Zionism. The first Zionist Congress was held in Berzl, Switzerland, in 1897. It was organized by Theodor Herzl and his bosom friend, a psychiatrist, Max Naudor. Their efforts created a reawakening amongst Jews especially in Eastern Europe and Russia to return to their ancestral homeland. Before the first Zionist Congress, Theodor Herzl published a pamphlet, “The Jewish State.” After the First Zionists Congress, he wrote: ” Today I have established the Jewish state. In five years, perhaps fifty,…..” That was prophetic. In exactly fifty year, in 1947, the UN voted in favour of partition of British Mandate Palestine between its Jewish and Arab residents. At the end of the Bristish Mandate, on 14th May, 1948, Israel became independent under the leadership of David Ben Gurion. Unfortunately, Theodor Herzl never lived to see the creation of the Jewish State, for he died at the age of 44 in 1904. At the creation of the Jewish State, his bones were reinterned in Jerusalem on Mount Herzl.
After the First World War, the British government through its foreign secretary Lord Balfour, favoured the Establishment of Jewish homeland in Palestine with the famous Balfour Declaration, in recognition of the role of Chaim Weizmann and other Jews in support of the British war effort during the First World War. Dr Chaim Weizmann was a Jewish chemist, a professor of chemistry at Manchester University who provided the British with synthetic acetone from corn for the manufacture of cordite gunpowder. Dr Chaim Weizmann later became the president of the Zionist Congress and the first president of the state of Israel.
Prior to 1948, one of the barriers to the emergence of the antiMessiah was the absence of a Jewish State. Today a unified Israel, not a divided Kingdom(Ezek.37:15-28), stands tall in the comity of nations. It has sterling contributions to humanity. The Israelis built the first cell phone, and the Intel mother board used in computers all over the world. Little Israel has the highest start-up per capita in the world. Israeli dairy farmers produce one of the most proteinacious milk in the world, second only to Holland. Israel is a leading power in solar energy. An Israeli Jew Simcha Blass and his son, Yeshayahu, invented the plastic emitter in drip irrigation which enables farming in the Negev desert, and has been adopted by many third world countries. Jews were involved in the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bombs dropped at two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki that lead to the end of the Second World War. An exhaustive enumeration of the contribution of Jews and Israel to humanity is beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say we are blessed to have Israel as an independent State in our day and age.
(3) The Jewish Regain Of Control Of Jerusalem.
The events of the 70th seven of Daniel are centred on the land of Israel and her Holy City, Jerusalem. The 70-week prophecy of Daniel concerned Israel and her Holy City, Jerusalem.
”Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and the prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy”(Dan.9:24).
The starting point of the 70 sevens of Daniel was the promulgation and issuance of the decree of Arterxerxes Longimanus to restore and rebuild the Jewish Holy City Jerusalem(Nehemiah. 2:5). According to Sir Robert Anderson, this decree was issued in 445 BC.
”Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandments to restore and rebuilt Jerusalem unto the Messiah The Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times”(Dan.9:25).
The First Advent of the Messiah was in relation to the land of Israel and the Holy City of Jerusalem. Several significant events in the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus The Christ, took place in and around Jerusalem: His birth and annunciation took place in Bethlehem close by. He was presented to God in the Temple in Jerusalem as The Lord commanded Moses(Luke. 2:23,24). He attended the Jewish feasts of Passover and Hanukkah in the Temple in Jerusalem (Jon. 2:13, 7:2). In Jerusalem, twice, both at the beginning and end of His ministry, He chased away those who were buying and selling in the Temple. He overturned the tables of the money changers and those who sold doves(Jon.2:14,15).
At the pool of Bethesda, in Jerusalem, He healed the paralytic(Jon.5:1-16). At the pool of Siloam, He restored sight to the man that was born blind(Jon.9: 1-41). At the outer court of the Temple, He dialogued with Nicodemus(Jon.3:1-21). His passion and agony in the Garden Of Gethsemane, arrest, trial, crucifixion, burial and resurrection, ascension took place in and around Jerusalem(Matt.26-28; Mk.14-16; Luk.22-24; Jon.18-24). In the Temple, He gave The Temple Mount Discourse to His disciples(Matt.23,23). On the Mount Of Olives, He gave the Olivet Discourse(Matt 25; Mk.13; Luk.21). He ascended to Heaven from the Mount of Olives overlooking the Temple Mount in Jerusalem(Acts 1:9), and the angels of God promised He would come back in like manner as His disciples saw Him go into heaven(Acts 1:10,11; cp, Zach.14:1-4). In the light of these Scriptures, repossessing the city of Jerusalem by the Jewish people is strategic to and a very important prophetic marker of the approaches of the End Times.
Following the destruction of the Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem by the Roman general Titus in 70 AD, Jews were scattered all over the Globe, the so called Diaspora. After the Bar Kochba rebellion in 136 AD, the Roman Emperor Hadrian rebuilt Jerusalem, renamed it Aelia Capitolina, barred Jews from entry into the city under the pain of death. Although there had not been any time when there were no Jewish presence in Jerusalem, Jews were not in the majority and in control of the city of Jerusalem for nearly two millennia. At the end of the British Mandate over Palestine, Jews lost control of Jerusalem to Jordan, at the end of the War Of Independence. It was not until after the Six-day War in 1967 that the State of Israel gained full control of Jerusalem, and declared it its eternal capital to the consternation and confusion of the Palestinians and Arabs, and the nations of the world. The US under the presidency of Donald J. Trump has relocated its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv after recognizing it as the eternal capital of Israel, the first nation so to do in modern times, since Israel regained its independence in 1948.
As we have pointed out earlier, because the 70-weeks prophecy of Daniel deals with the people of Israel, and thy Holy City, the prophecy of the 70th week could not be fulfilled until the Jewish people take control of the land of Israel, at least in part, and regain control of the Holy City of Jerusalem. It is obvious from the Scriptures that Israel will not regain full control of the whole land God promised their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the extent of the land reigned over by King David and Solomon, his son and successor: for God will punish the nations for parting His land which He gave to the children of Israel by a covenant of salt(Joel 3:2). The Jews are now in control of the land of Israel, at least, in part; in full control of her Holy City Jerusalem. This barrier was removed in 1967, paving the way for the Second Advent of our Lord, Jesus The Christ.
(4) The Rebuilding Of The Third Temple.
In the history of Israel, every period of the kingdom is associated with a temple in Jerusalem. The period of the kingdom from the institution of the monarchy to the carrying away into captivity in Babylon is referred to as the First Temple Period or simply the First Temple(1080-586 BC). This period of the kingdom is associated with the temple built by King Solomon. This temple was destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon in 586 BC.
After 70 years in exile in Babylon, the Jews were freed by the decree of Cyrus the Persian in 538 BC, according to the words of Jeremiah the prophet(Ezra 1:1-4; Jer.25:12, 29:10). Thus began the Second Temple Period or simply the Second Temple(538 BC-70 AD). By 515 BC, the returning exiles had completed the Second Temple. This temple, located on the same site as the first was extensively and lavishly refurbished by Herod the Great. It was this temple that was in existence during the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus The Christ. This temple was destroyed by the Roman general Titus in 70 AD as prophesied by the prophet Daniel and reiterated by our Lord Jesus The Christ in His Olivet discourse, thus ending the second Temple Period(Dan. 9:27; Matt.24:1,2).
As we have pointed out earlier, each period of the kingdom corresponds to a temple. The modern state of Israel was established in 1948 following the end of the British Mandate over Palestine. Up to now, there is no Temple. Despite the absence of any Temple, the Jews refer to this period of the kingdom as Third Temple Period or simply the Third Temple(1948-end of the 70th week of Daniel, which corresponds with the death of the two witnesses of Rev.11). During the Yom Kippur War, when Israel was almost annihilated by her Arab neighbors, the then Defense Minister of Israel, the legendary one-eyed general, Moshe Dayan said, “The Third Temple is over.” Up to now as at that time, there was no Temple. Yet this period of the kingdom without a king is referred to as the Third Temple.
”For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterwards shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king ; and shall fear the LORD and His goodness in the latter days”(Hos.6:4,5).
Today Israel is an independent state in the comity of nations, but it is without a king. There is no high priest with an ephod and teraphim, no umim and no thumim, and no sacrifice because there is no Temple. During the Day Of The Lord, the children of Israel shall return to the LORD their God, and David’s greater Son, our Lord Jesus the Christ shall be king over them, and the High Priest of God. He shall be a priest upon the throne( Zach.6:13).
The major events of the 70th week of Daniel are centred in and around the Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem.
”Let no one deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of Sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or worshipped: so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing that he is God”(2 These.2:3,4).
In order for the antiMessiah to make his debut at the Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, where he unveils his identity as dead man come back to life, and displays himself as God, demanding worship of all mortals in the middle of the 70th week of Daniel, a temple must exist on the Temple Mount. Up to now, the Temple Mount is occupied by the Muslim Dome of the Rock, the Golden Dome and the Al-aqsa Mosque.
Prior to the 70th seven or even within the first three and one half years of the 70th seven, the third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem must be erected. This is probably one of the feats of politics the antiChrist will perform that will endear him to the Jewish people. However, it is most likely that after the covenant of Apostasy is made with the antiMessiah that the Jews will be permitted to rebuild their Temple, though we must remind ourselves, that the rebuilding of the temple is not mentioned as one of the major events in the first three and one-half years of the 70th seven of Daniel. The scriptures are not precise when the third Temple shall be rebuilt, but there ain’t too many options. It is either prior to the 70th seven of Daniel, or in the first three and one-half years; for a temple must of necessity be standing, and animal sacrifice and meal offering resumed prior to the midpoint of the 70th seven when the Man of Sin is revealed, and the sacrifice and oblation caused to cease.
The Temple Mount, is the most expensive piece of property on Earth today. As a matter of fact, it is not up for sale or grabs. Jews, Muslims, christians and the international community are interested in it. There is a lot of controversy surrounding this piece of real estate. When Israel wrestled control of Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967, the then defense minister of Israel, Moshe Dayan returned the key to the Temple Mount to the Muslim Waqf as gesture of good will. What a costly mistake. Unfortunately Jews are not even allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. Those who move their lips are arrested.
The real issue however is the location of Holy Of Holies of the temple. Studies by Asher Kaufman indicate that it is not under the Dome Of The Rock, but a little further northwest of the mosque, under the Dome of the Tablets, a location directly west of the Eastern or Golden Gate. It therefore means the Jews could rebuild their Temple on the site of Solomons Temple while the Dome of the Rock is still standing. If that is the case, the Muslim Dome of the Rock is in the outer court. This may be what is meant by the angel’s instruction to John the revelator, not to measure the outer court of the temple.
”And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for is given unto the Gentiles: and the Holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months “(Rev. 11:1,2).
Forty and two months is three and one-half years which is the length of the second half of the 70th week of Daniel, the time allotted to the antiChrist to reign and the two witnesses to minister. The ministry of the two witnesses is concurrent, co-incident, and simultaneous with the reign of the antiMessiah.
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.”)Rev.11:3-4 KJV).
“And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.”(Rev.13:5-6 KJV.
In the light of this understanding, it may be possible for the Jews to rebuild their Temple at the shortest notice without tampering with Muslim Dome Of The Rock. All the materials for the rebuilding of the temple have been procured and prefabricated. Over $100 million dollars have been raised for the rebuilding of the temple. Priests of the family of Aaron and levites have been identified by DNA tests, trained, and are rehearsing and doing test runs, on the wings, waiting to resume Temple worship and animal sacrifice, grain offering and the pouring of libations(drink offering) at a moment’s notice. Vigorous search is being made for the red heifer. Several have been identified but disqualified by a few strands of black or white hair. Recently a pure red heifer was found. Crowd funding is being used to raise money for the cloning of red heifers. When this is successful, there will be no lack of red heifers. The Golden Altar Of Incense has been reconstructed, the Sanhedrin, the Jewish counsel of 70 elders has been reconstituted, and a Cohen Gadol appointed.
It is possible that an entire Temple may not be built, but only a tabernacle-like structure that could be erected quickly to provide a place for worship and animal sacrifice, not unlike the temporary structure called the tabernacle which Moses erected in the wilderness. Greek scholars tell us that the Greek word used to describe the temple the antiChtist will desecrate at the midpoint of the 70th seven permits such a view. At any rate, a place of sacrifice is not necessarily a precursor to the 70th seven of Daniel, and in reality may not be built until shortly before the midpoint of the 70th seven of Daniel. The Scriptures did not tell us when the sacrifice and the oblation will begin, but that they will be terminated at the midpoint of the 70th week of Daniel.
There is also the question of the Ark Of Covenant. The Ark Of Covenant must also be found and returned to the Holy Of Holies of the Rebuilt Third Jewish Temple on Mount Moriah, Jerusalem; another supposedly or seemingly insurmountable odd. Where is it? Must it be restored to the Holy Of Holies in order to restore Temple worship and resume animal sacrifice? There are a number of speculations as to its location: an underground vault at the Temple Mount, spirited away to Ethiopia before the Babylonian invasion, France etc. Will a new one be constructed? Yes, a new Ark can be constructed. But what about its original contents like the two tablets of the Ten Commandments written with the finger of God, the pot of Manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded which are irreplaceable if lost?
(5) The Establishment Of The Three-Nation Coalition.
”After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things”(Dan.7:7,8).
We can see here that there are ten horns. Horns signify power and authority. In Rev.13:1, the ten horns have ten crowns. The crowns signify that they are sitting or reigning kings. The little horn which is diverse from the ten was not one of the original ten. The tittle horn has eyes which signify intelligence. It has a mouth and spoke great things. So this little horn is human after all. It spoke boastful words and blasphemed the God of Heaven and the Heaven-dwellers. This little horn is the antiMessiah. The little horn is one of the appellatives of the antiChrist.
The little horn was so powerful that it overthrew three of the original ten horns. Since these horns are sitting kings, contemporaneous, it therefore means that the antiMessiah shall overthrow three of the original kings and replace them with his own puppets. Obviously these three original kings were not in agreement with his plans and purposes, hence their dethronment. Remember that this little horn does not directly rule any one of these three nations, but rather is the overall head of the ten nation confederation. This agrees with words of the Scriptures in Ezek.38:2; for Gog, of the land of Magog, is the head of Meshech and Tuval. As we have pointed out earlier on in our previous article on the Eighth And Final Beast Empire Of Satan, these two peoples groups who constitute Magog, Meshech and Tuval, the Germans and the Russians do not naturally agree. So, it will take a powerful and ruthless leader like the antiChrist to unite them.
With the exception of Russia itself, nearly all the eastern European countries which were part of the former Soviet Union are now part of the EU. Europe and North America are one already. Add to that Russia, one has a very formidable military alliance.
”And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no Kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast”(Rev.17:12,13).
These ten kings are contemporaneous with the antiChtist. They have unity of mind and purpose. They give their power and strength unto the beast who is the same as the little horn. We see why three of the original ten horns were overthrown. They did not have unity of mind and purpose with antiChtist. So they were replaced with pliable puppets. We can see that the overthrow of these three Kings or leaders of Magog, Meshech and Tuval, by a very powerful politician from Magog which is Germany, and their replacement with malleable puppets from the same, will be one of the major pre-70th week events. It will be a major event that will make headlines, a breaking news.
We must also remember that people of Germanic extraction are found not only in Germany, but also in Austria, in the Silesia region of Poland, in the Sudetenland in the Czech Republic, and Russia, south and west of Moscow. The Franks too are of Germanic descent, so also are the Anglus and the Saxons whose ancestors came from Lower Saxony in Bavaria, Germany. So, this great leader of Germanic extraction could emerge from any one of these areas. Adolf Hitler was originally from Austria, and became a German citizen. So the antiMessiah could come from any one of these areas. In identifying the antiChrist, what matters is not necessarily geography but ancestry. It is this extremely powerful and ungodly military leader, the antiChtist incognito, the worst Jews-hater of all times, that will sign a seven-year peace agreement with Israel that will mark the commencement of the 70th seven of Daniel. This will be a major event that will make headlines. So we believers in Jesus the Messiah, must be watchful, even as we are faithful and prayerful, in order that we may observe these significant End Time Events when they occur, in order that they may not come upon us unawares.
The first three events(1-3) have been accomplished. What remains are the last two events(4,5), rebuilding of the Third Temple and the establishment of the three nation coalition. These two events can happen literally overnight. We must be watchful so that we can notice when these two events happen. Once the three nation coalition is established, the 7-year peace agreement between Israel and her Arab and Islamic neighbors to be brokered by the antiChrist can take place at any moment(Dan.9:27). And once the covenant is brokered, the 70th week of Daniel has begun.