False Interpretation #1
DANIEL'S 70th WEEK
In the ninth chapter of the Book of Daniel we find a prophecy, commonly referred to as "Daniel's 70th Week," which has become a corner stone and foundation of Futurism. By taking the Scriptures out of their context to make them a pretext, the Futurists tell us that this prophecy foretells the coming of a one-world dictator, the Prince of the Prophecy, who will make a Treaty or Covenant with the Jews, break it after 31/2 years and sit enthroned for worship in a rebuilt Jewish Temple, from which he will impose the Mark of the Beast, and unlease the horrors of the Great Tribulation. To call this interpretation fanciful would be kind, to call it downright deceptive would be accurate. Let us now examine the Seventy Weeks Prophecy and see for ourselves.
In the Book of Daniel we read these words:
"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 prophecy and to anoint the most holy."
Daniel 9, v. 24
The people of the prophecy were Daniel's people, the Judah section of the House of Israel. The holy city referred to was undoubtedly Jerusalem. The time-factor given is Seventy Weeks. Now we need to determine how long this would be, using the prophetic time-scale of a year to a day (see our book 'The Divine Calculator')
1 DAY = 1 YEAR 1 WEEK (7 DAYS). = 7 YEARS 70 WEEKS = 490 YEARS
We must now go on to determine the starting point when the Seventy Prophetic Weeks or 490 Years began, and so we read:
"Seven weeks and three score and two weeks, the street shall be built
again and the wall, even in troublesome times, and after three-score
and two weeks shall Messiah the Prince be cut off but not for himself."
Daniel 9, v. 25-26
The starting point is the Decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. This came about in 457 B.C. under the Medo-Persian monarch Artaxerxes. The people were then to spend
7 WEEKS or 49 YEARS — BUILDING
62 WEEKS or 434 YEARS — AWAITING MESSIAH
Sure enough, 483 years after the Decree of Artaxerxes, in 27 A.D. (allowing one for the crossing over from B.C. to A.D.) the Lord Jesus Christ was baptized by John in the waters of the River Jordan, being declared to be the Son of God with power, when the Holy Spirit descended in the form of a dove and the voice from heaven proclaimed:
Daniel's 70th Week ended in 34 A.D. with the martyrdom of Stephen and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the household of Cornelius. For some forty years, a Bible generation of testing, trial and probation, the Jews refused, resisted and opposed the proclamation of the New Covenant Gospel of Salvation. In 67 A.D. they rebelled against the might of Imperial Rome, and a three year conflict commenced. The climax of these events came in 70 A.D. when the armies of the Roman Prince Titus, the son of the Emperor Vespasian, laid siege to Jerusalem. The Jewish historian Josephus records the horrors of the siege in graphic detail. One million Jews perished by Nmine and the sword, some ninety thousand being sold into slavery when the Romans finally captured the city. The remaining Jewish Zealots had sought refuge in the Temple precincts and so the Romans launched a final assault during which a soldier threw a piece of burning wood into the inner sanctuary and soon the magnificent building was ablaze. Titus then marched into the sanctuary ruins, set up the Roman standards and offered the traditional sacrifice of an ox, a sheep and a pig. He subsequently ordered the systematic destruction of the city and the levelling of the Temple site to the ground i.e. to its base or platform. Thus was the remainder of Daniel's prophecy fulfilled by Titus the Prince, and by his people, the soldiers of IrrAperial Rome.
False Interpretation #2
ANTI-CHRIST TO SIT IN A REBUILT JEWISH TEMPLE RECEIVING WORSHIP
The Futurists make much of the Scripture which states:
"And that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he as God sitteth in the Temple of God showing himself that he is God."
II Thessalonians 2, v. 3-4
On the basis of this verse they go on to proclaim that their coming one-man Anti-Christ, the future super human, world dictator will be enthroned in a rebuilt Jewish Temple at Jerusalem to receive worship and adoration. This overlooks three very important facts:
1. Anti-Christ is not an open enemy or opponent of Christ, but rather a counterfeit or usurper who takes the place, titles and dignities of Christ. The Greek word ANTICHRISTOS, always denotes a Vice-Christ or a substitute Christ. Here are some examples of the way in which Greek writers of the Biblical era would have used ANTI to mean a substitute rather than an open opponent.
A) ANTI-BASILEUS — A VICE-KING or VICEROY
B) ANTI-DIAKONOS — A VICE MINISTER
C) ANTI—DOULOS — A SUBSTITUTE SLAVE
D) ANTI-DEIPUOUS — A SUBSTITUTE GUEST AT A BANQUET
These are sufficient to illustrate the point.
2. Anti-Christ refers not to one man at the end of the age, but to a whole dynasty of substitute Christs down the centuries i.e. The Papacy. The Futurists insist that Paul's use of the term Man of Sin substantiates their theory, but by comparing Scripture with Scripture we find that this is not the case. In the Epistle to the Hebrews, we find the whole dynasty of High Priests in Israel referred to as 'one man' (Hebrews 9, v. 7). Again we are told that the entire company of believers in all ages is but 'one body' (I Corinthians 12, v. 12). Similarly the whole line of believers is referred to as 'one new man' (Ephesians 2, v. 15). When we look back to Daniel's vision of the various Beasts, he describes the entire ruling dynasties of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome as being 'four kings,' one king in each case symbolising or standing for a dynasty.
3. The Greek wording in II Thessalonians 2, v. 4, refutes any idea of Anti-Christ, sitting in a literal, physical Temple at Jerusalem. If Paul had wanted to state that the Man of Sin would be seated in a rebuilt Jewish Temple, receiving worship, he would undoubtedly have used the Greek word HIERON, which is used on some twenty five other occasions in the New Testament to describe the Jewish Temple at Jerusalem. Instead Paul uses the Greek word NAOS, which according to Young's Analytical Concordance, means a 'dwelling place' or 'inner sanctuary.' When the Lord Jesus used this same word NAOS in John 2, v. 19-21, He used it to refer not to a building in Jerusalem but to His own body:
"Destroy this temple (NAOS) and in three days, I will raise it up . . . He spake of the temple (NAOS) of His body."
In the other Pauline Epistles, the word NAOS has a definite meaning other than the building in Jerusalem.
A) "What agreement hath the Temple (NAOS) of God with idols . . . for ye are the Temple (NAOS) of the living God."
II Corinthians 6, v. 16
B) "Ye are the Temple (NAOS) of God. If any man defile the Temple (NAOS) of God, him shall God destroy, for the Temple (NAOS) of God is holy, which Temple (NAOS) are ye."
I Corinthians 3, v. 16&17
C) "In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy Temple (NAOS) in the Lord."
Ephesians 2, v. 21
It is crystal clear that Paul used NAOS to refer to the Church which is the Body of Christ, and not to denote a physical building or sanctuary. Paul was not teaching that a one-man Anti-Christ would sit in a rebuilt Jewish Temple at Jerusalem to receive worship, but rather he was foretelling the rise of a dynasty of counterfeit Christs, the Popes of Rome who would receive the worship and adoration of organized Cluistendom, as was especially true during the Dark Ages prior to the Reformation. To further illustrate this point we quote from the Roman Catholic newspaper the 'Universe' in its edition of June 27th 1846, which gives a vivid description of the ceremony of the installation of the Pope. As you read this account, bear in mind the wording of II Thessalonians chapter 2. Out of their own mouths they stand condemned.
"He (the Pope) is borne in the Pontifical Chair, and is placed on the High Altar, a spot consecrated by the actual presence of the body, blood, soul and divinity of the living Christ. He sits on the High Altar using it as his footstool, and enthroned as King, he is adored as God, in the same manner as the consecrated wafer, adored by the Cardinal Princes, who kiss his feet which rest on the Altar of the Supreme. HE SITS IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD SHOWING HIMSELF AS IF HE VVERE GOD."
False Interpretation #3
In their desire to establish some sort of Biblical support for their idea of a reconstructed Jewish Temple, the Futurists place great emphasis on the record given in the last nine chapters of Ezekiel's prophecy (chapters 40-48), which give a detailed description of a future Temple. In what circumstances however was Ezekiel writing and to what does this detailed Temple vision refer? The Book of Ezekiel contains some thirteen visions and revelations given to the prophet over a period of over twenty five years of exile in Babylon. Each of these thirteen documents is carefully dated, but the documents have not been arranged in that order, as the Book of Ezekiel is set out in our Bible. So whilst it appears that the Temple vision of the last nine chapters was God's final revelation to Ezekiel, the fact is that these
final chapters actually come much earlier on. The prophecy has nothing whatsoever to do with a rebuilt Temple in the modern Zionist State but rather was a vision given by God to Ezekiel in 574 B.C. of a last offer of mercy and forgiveness to the Ten Tribed House of Israel taken into Assyrian captivity some one hundred and fifty years earlier, and a section of whom were still dwelling in the province of Ecbatana in Media. Ezekiel was sent to offer them a written scheme for national restoration which would embrace a new division of the land of Palestine, a reformed priesthood and a rebuilt and remodeled Temple. Furthermore Ezekiel's offer was to embrace all Twelve Tribes of Israel, whilst the present day Zionist State contains only a remnant of the Tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi, outnumbered by Edomite and Khazar Jews, who whilst practicing the Jewish religion and adhering to the creed of political Zionism are not true Israelites. Ezekiel's Temple vision does not support or substantiate the Futurist concepts.
False Interpretation #4
A REVIVED ROMAN EMPIRE
Closely linked to the Futurist fables of a personal Anti-Christ, and a rebuilt Jewish Temple complete with animal sacrifice, is the equally false concept that the one-man Anti-Christ or Dictator, will revive the old Roman Empire, and reunite the various kingdoms and states which came into being after 476 A.D. It is over the resurrected Roman Empire that the personal Anti-Christ of the Futurists is supposedly to rule and reign. This theory is based upon the visions recorded for us in Daniel chapters 2 and 7; in which the four great Gentile World Empires of history, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome are foretold in sign and symbol.
In Daniel chapter 2, they are seen as the four metals in the image of a man, and in Daniel chapter 7 as four wild beasts of great ferocity (see the accompanying chart). The final stage in both visions results in a ten-fold division; the ten toes on the feet of the image in Daniel chapter 2 and the ten horns on the final beast of Daniel chapter 7. Undoubtedly these refer to the ten kingdoms which emerged in Europe after the collapse of Imperial Rome. These were the Goths, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Lombards, Alans, Suevi, Burgundians, Franlcs, Barvarians and Allemani. So far the interpretation holds true, but with the formation of the European Economic Community or Common Market in 1957, the Futurists began to preach and to predict that this was the first stage toward the creation of a ten-nation United States of Europe to be ruled by their oft predicted, future, personal Anti-Christ. It is now that their interpretation breaks down, because it stands in direct contradiction to Divine Prophecy which says that the old Roman Empire will never again be revived and united under one head.
GENTILE EMPIRES AND KINGDOMS CHART
We find in Daniel, chapter 2 that the Roman Empire is represented by LEGS OF IRON symbolising unity, strength and power, but upon its break up and collapse, there emerge feet and toes whose division and lack of cohesive unity is perfectly predicted in this verse:
"And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men, but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay."
Daniel 2, v. 43
Will the Roman Empire be resurrected in all its old strength and reunited under one head?
The Futurists say YES, the Bible says NO. The old Empire of the Caesars was broken up in 476 A.D. and remains broken until this day. It is part iron,
part clay, partly strong, partly weak, partly democratic, partly dictatorial, partly socialist, partly capitalist; it will not be joined together. Down the centuries Roman Catholicism, working with and through the prevailing political philosophies which have risen and fallen in Europe, has tried to perform this impossible task of reviving and reuniting the old Roman Empire and creating a Europe Roman Catholic from the Atlantic to the Urals. We see on the stage of European history, Charlemagne and the Holy Roman Empire, we see the might of the Hapsburgs in the era of the Counter Reformation, Louis XIV, the Sun King of France, Napoleon, the Kaiser, Hitler and Mussolini with their Rome-Berlin Axis, and now the E.E.C. All have failed and will fail. Yet in spite of both the evidence of history and in defiance of the plain words of prophecy, Futurism still awaits its revived Roman Empire and its personal Anti-Christ receiving worship in a rebuilt Jewish Temple at Jerusalem.