Why haven’t I ever heard about these things before? I wondered. Why isn’t this common knowledge? It was soon after I had accepted Jesus as my Savior, and I was hearing about Bible prophecy, the book of Revelation, the end time, and the Antichrist all for the first time.
The most fascinating class, “The 70 Weeks of Daniel,” explained a prophecy foretelling these four events:
- That the prophet Daniel’s people, the Jews, who had been conquered and taken captive by the Babylonians in 586 bc, would be allowed to return to and rebuild Jerusalem, which the Babylonians had destroyed;
- That the Messiah would be killed 483 years (measured in ancient years of 360 days, equal to 476 modern years) after the wall was built;
- That the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed after the death of the Messiah;
- That the Messiah would return seven years after a despot, identified elsewhere in the Bible as the “Beast” and the “Son of Hell” but more commonly called the Antichrist, masterminds an accord involving Jerusalem and possibly Middle East peace.
As I listened to this class, I learned that:
- The Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem, after 70 years in captivity.
- The Messiah, Jesus, was killed (and rose from the dead) in the very year Daniel had prophesied.
- The rebuilt temple was destroyed by the Roman army 40 years after Jesus’ death.
Daniel gave this prophecy in 538 BC, almost 100 years before any part of it was fulfilled. All of the fulfillments thus far are well-documented historical fact—Bible prophecy fulfilled with 100% accuracy! It stands to reason, therefore, that the last of the four events—the seven-year reign of the Antichrist—will also be fulfilled just as accurately.
If Daniel had told a skeptic about his prophecy, I imagine their conversation going something like this:
“Our people will return to and rebuild Jerusalem.”
“It will never happen!”
“This is when the Messiah will be killed.”
“I don’t believe you!”
“After that, the temple will be destroyed again!”
Now whenever I hear a skeptic say he doesn’t believe that a dictatorial leader known as the Antichrist will come to power and rule the world for the last seven years before Jesus returns and puts a stop to him, I just smile and say, “You will when it happens!”
Unlike the already fulfilled parts of Daniel’s prophecy that foretold exact dates, we don’t yet know what year the Antichrist will come to power, but when he initiates a seven-year peace accord, those who are in the know will recognize him for who he is, if they haven’t already. When that happens, it will be seven years until Jesus returns to put a stop to the Antichrist and establish His own righteous rule on earth.
Three down, one to go.