BEHOLD THE BEAST
The False Prophet
When it is evening, ye say,
It will be fair weather: for the sky is red.
And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day:
for the sky is red and lowering.
O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky;
but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
God sees creation from an eternal viewpoint and if we wish to
understand His plan, we need to view it from His eternal
perspective. If we could stand on a giant mountain somewhere
and view our 6000+ years of recorded history all at once, as God
does, we would see a broad completed tapestry. On that tapestry
would be every event that has ever happened, or ever will happen.
Time and space are creations of God and He stands outside them
Isaiah 45:12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it:
I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all
their host have I commanded.
Man, however, is bound by time and space. We are physically
placed on a material world and, as time is reckoned, the first
decade of the 3rd Millennium AD. The Lord told us about all this
in the Bible, and the Lord has partitioned his dealings with man
into three separate time frames (three different spiritual epochs),
each lasting about 2000 years. 1. The era before the flood, 2. the
era between the flood and Jesus' crucifixion, 3. and the Christian
Era. In each of these eras, God revealed Himself to man in a
special way. In this chapter, we will be focusing our attention on
the time that Gentiles controlled Jerusalem, the "Time of the
* Conservative dating places the destruction of the Temple of Solomon at 586BC.
However, Jeremiah 41:5 shows Levitical sacrifices continuing to be offered long
after that date:
Jeremiah 41:5 That there came certain from Shechem, from Shiloh, and from
Samaria, even fourscore men, having their beards shaven, and their
clothes rent, and having cut themselves, with offerings and incense in
their hand, to bring them to the house of the LORD.
Jeremiah 41:5 is positioned at the end of the governorship of Gedeliah, and Gedeliah was
elevated to that post after Nebuchadnezzar sacked Jerusalem in 586BC. The
sacrifices above were offered seven to ten months later. After Gedeliah's time,
Jews were taken captive to Babylon only once more:
Jeremiah 52:30 In the three and twentieth year of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebu-
zaradan the captain of the guard carried away captive of the Jews seven
hundred forty and five persons: all the persons were four thousand and
Nebuchadnezzar's 1st year was 606-605BC, and this final captivity took place in the
23rd Year of Nebuchadnezzar, so we have scriptural support that 583BC was the
date of the abolition of Levitical sacrifices. 606BC - 23= 583BC.
This Christian Era actually began at the crucifixion, 32-33AD.
Just before Jesus went to the cross, He told His disciples what
they should expect this era to be like. Known to us as the "Olivet
Discourse," this talk was Jesus' chapter-long prophecy about the
major events that would take place between the Cross and His
second coming. This discourse is recorded in the three synoptic
Gospels: in Mat 24, Mar 13, and in Luk 21. Though these accounts
all agree, each Gospel gave us some important information that is
not contained in the other two:
(1) Matthew 24:31 - Matthew states that the elect are gathered at the
sound of a "great trumpet."
(2) Mark 13:14 - Mark declares that the Abomination of
Desolation is an "it," and not a "him."
(3) Luke 21:24 - Luke defines the "time of the Gentiles."
Now please study those verses in your own Bible, and consider
what Jesus had to say in each, because they strongly influence
what we believe about the seven-year tribulation, replacement
theology, and a host of other doctrines the church holds today.
For instance, we hear a lot about the dispensations of "Law" and
of "Grace," but in Luk 21:24, Jesus defines our era in a different
way, as a "time of the Gentiles":
Luke 21:21-24 (excerpts) Then let them [the Jews] which are
in Judaea flee ... And they [the Jews] shall fall by the edge
of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations:
and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until
the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.1
So what is this "time of the Gentiles"? When Jesus spoke those
words (in 32 or 33AD), Jerusalem had already been under the
1 PUBLISHER1S NOTE: Words or phrases [in brackets and italics] inserted within
a Scripture quote are this author's explanation or amplification of a passage,
usually discernable by context. Words [in brackets and italics] are not in the
original Bible texts.
control of various Gentile governments for about 638 years.1 But
Jews troubled their foreign rulers with revolt after revolt, so in
70AD, Titus the Roman destroyed Jerusalem and burned the 2nd
temple to the ground. Jesus foretold the destruction of the city
and a time of Gentile domination of Jerusalem to follow. Look at
the tense of the verb "shall be" led away captive. Shall be is future
to when Jesus spoke.
After Titus destroyed Jerusalem, the Jews lost all control of
their homeland and they were dispersed among the nations. They
remained dispersed throughout the world until this very century.
As a matter of historic record, Gentiles ruled Jerusalem through
the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th centuries.
The 11th and 12th century crusaders were also Gentiles. Gentiles
continued to rule Jerusalem through the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th,
17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, right on up until 1967AD.
Throughout the whole Christian Era, Gentiles have always ruled
Jerusalem. "And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles
... until ". As a matter of historic reality, the city of Jerusalem did
not again come under Jewish control until after the Six-Day War,
June 6th, 1967, "until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." The
only people who are not Gentiles are Jews, and as of June 6th,
1967, the Jews again govern Jerusalem, for the first time in 2573
years. Like it or not, that is reality:2
1 Rome was the foreign government in control of the Holy Land during Jesus' stay
here on Earth, but Gentile control of Jerusalem began when Nebuchadnezzar of
Babylon sacked the city in 606-605BC. Gentile rule continued under Medo-Persia
and Greece. The Holy Land did not come under Roman jurisdiction until 65BC.
2 The Jews had a short period of self-rule under the Maccabees that began in
167BC. However, the Maccabean period does not appear to be prophetically
significant. The Davidic monarchy was not reestablished, and the Jews were
continually in conflict with the Syrian Greeks. This conflict continued until Rome
conquered the Holy Land in 65BC.
Over in the Holy Land is a nation called Israel. It is filled with
a people called Jews, many of whom are looking for their
Messiah. Those people again ruling in their own land fits the
Luke 21:24 prophecy right to the letter.
Before the Six-Day War, we could argue about what the Lord
might have meant by the "time of the Gentiles," but not anymore.
From our vantage point in history, we can now see the Jews in
control of Jerusalem with our own eyes. Consequently, it is
apparent that the Lord was naming the total time of Gentile rule
of His Holy City as "the Time of the Gentiles." Do we grasp the full
impact of that prophecy? The time of the Gentile domination of
Jerusalem is over. It's over! Gentiles will not rule in Jerusalem
again, and God's eyes are again focused on the physical seed of
Abraham who have returned to their promised land and now
control the Holy City.
But if the "Time of the Gentiles" is really over, when are we
now? What kind of time are we in? There must be another kind of
time because we are still here. Searching Scripture from beginning
to end, there appears to be only one other time that can come
after the time of the Gentiles:
Daniel 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal
the book, even to the time of the end.
Daniel 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are
closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
Since we are no longer in the time of the Gentiles (and we
have to be in some kind of time), then we are probably in Daniel's
"time of the end," or the "end times" as the NASB translates it. As
a result ...
We are probably the last generation this present Earth
will ever see and the end of all things is at hand.
DISCERNING END-TIME ERROR
In Daniel 12:9, God declared, by His sovereign Word, that He
sealed the book of Daniel until the "time of the end". Sealed it,
which means that nobody would be able to understand it. That
doesn't sound so earth-shattering, does it? How significant can it
be that a relatively obscure Old Testament prophet would be
sealed until the time of the end? This important:
If the "Time of the End" began in 1967, and Daniel was
sealed until the "Time of the End," then all views theorized
out of Daniel before 1967 would at best be incomplete, and
at worst be heretical.
Here is the point: Most end-time views held by the Church
today were theorized from studies made in Daniel hundreds of
years ago. But if God sealed Daniel until the "time of the end," and
the "time of the end" didn't begin until 1967, then those end-time
views have to be incomplete, or even wrong. If they are, we could
be basing the last few decisions we will ever make on this planet
on theoretical events that are never going to take place. So let's
take a look at the book of Daniel, from which so many of our
popular end-time doctrines have come.
If you arrived at this spot through a link, it would be better if you
started this book from the beginning rather than clicking "next
chapter" as it is a brick by brick discussion. Click here for chapter 1