MP3: The Mighty Angels of Daniel 9 Concluded
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
The Messiah Cut Off
Nathan Jones: What does Daniel 9:26 mean when it says, “Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself”?
The Messiah, Jesus Christ, wasn’t killed. That statement likely surprises many who are familiar with the Good Friday story. Rather, Jesus Christ gave up His own life. Jesus stopped His own heart, as modern medical doctors have determined. Jesus allowed Himself to be nailed up there on the cross, and He did so, so that mankind might be saved. Jesus’ seeming defeat was met with a victory over death, a victory achieved by Jesus Christ resurrecting Himself three days later.The #Messiah, #JesusChrist, wasn't killed. Rather, He gave up His own life. Click To Tweet
And what does Daniel 9:26 mean when it reveals, “And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary”?
Nearly 40 years after Jesus was “cut off” by execution, the Roman legions descended upon the city — Jerusalem — and destroyed the sanctuary — the Temple. Jesus Himself in Matthew 24 prophesied during the final week of His earthly ministry that the Temple would be destroyed in such a complete way that not one stone would be left upon another. And that’s exactly what the Romans did! They tore up the Temple Mount lusting for the gold melted during the Temple inferno. Soldiers also threw the Temple stones into the valley. Nothing remained of the Temple in Jerusalem by the time the Romans were finished looting the place.
The Romans besieged Jerusalem for over two years. The Jewish historian Josephus uneasily reported that the entrenched Jerusalemites resorted to cannibalism in the face of their ongoing starvation. Like a bunch of Tolkien orcs razing a Middle Earth forest to fuel their siege, the Romans likewise desolated the land. They fueled their siege by chopping down all of Israel’s trees and like locusts ate all the food. The Roman locusts left Israel a wasteland.
Israel still waits for the fulfillment of Daniel’s messianic prophecy. They missed the fact that Jesus is the Messiah, and still long for the Prince to come. And will they get it wrong again! In the future the Jews will turn to the Antichrist for peace.
Verse 26 reveals the Antichrist’s origins. He will originate from the people who destroyed the city and the sanctuary, which we know from history were the Romans. The Antichrist must therefore be European. A recent theory has been floating around that the Antichrist will arise out of Islam, but as Daniel was written during the sixth century BC, Islam wouldn’t come on the scene for another 1,100 years. No Muslims were present when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem because Islam wouldn’t exist for another 500+ years.
The European Antichrist will rise to power at the onset of Daniel’s Seventieth Week with the purpose of establishing Satan’s kingdom over this earth. And just like Antiochus Epiphanies did back during the Intertestamental Period, the Antichrist will walk triumphantly into Jerusalem, climb up to the newly built Jewish Temple, and desecrate it by declaring himself to be God.
The Missing Third Temple
Vic Batista: For the coming Antichrist to desecrate a Jewish Temple and declare himself to be God, that means Israel needs to build a Temple, for there isn’t one existing right now.
Nathan Jones: Lying atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem sits the famed golden Dome of the Rock, along with the other Islamic mosque called the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Where the Jewish Temple once stood the Dome now boldly proclaims that the time of the Gentiles still continues. But, the Antichrist must desecrate the Temple, so that means prophetically without a doubt the Jewish people will eventually rebuild their Temple on that site.
Vic Batista: A number of Orthodox Jewish organizations are diligently working to assemble all the varied articles necessary to equip a Temple. Priests are training to serve in the soon expected Temple.
Nathan Jones: One can visit the headquarters of the Temple Institutes in Jerusalem and take the tour. Guides will present all the different ceremonial instruments, priestly clothes, a massive golden menorah, and many of the other implements made ready in anticipation of a newly constructed Third Temple. The priests are ready at the drop of a hat, once they get permission, to rebuild the Temple. They have been preparing for years. Priests have been trained to perform live animal sacrifices, just as they were mandated under the Mosaic Law in the Old Testament.
How could the Third Temple be built with Islam breathing down Israel’s neck? Many scenarios have been put forth in an attempt to figure out what would allow the Jewish people to rebuild the Temple.
Vic Batista: When people read about the Antichrist desecrating the Temple in Daniel 9 and 2 Thessalonians 2, they really struggle with that passage because there’s no Temple today to desecrate. In truth, it really won’t take Israel very long with the construction technology that we possess today.
Nathan Jones: Right, and some have even theorized that Israel could throw up pretty quickly a Tabernacle while the Temple was being built. I asked the Temple Institute if they’d temporarily go with a Tabernacle, but they weren’t really keen on the idea, for they desire the actual Temple. The guide estimated that it would take about a year to build the new Temple. And, they were not talking about building just the structure, but also fine tuning the decor, continued training of the staff, and initiating animal sacrifices — all within one year!
Something prophetically then has to befall the Dome of the Rock. Ownership of the Temple Mount currently resides with Israel. Israel earned dominion over the Temple Mount when they recaptured Jerusalem in 1967, but in truth the Jordanians administer the Temple Mount. Israel allows Islamic control because the famous Dome of the Rock has been standing there for hundreds of years and the Muslims consider the Dome a holy site.
Anytime Jewish Knesset members trek up onto the Mount, the Muslims go berserk. Often mobs of frantic Muslims will throw stones at any Jewish people attempting to climb up onto the Temple Mount. So, if Israel begins rebuilding the Temple on the Temple Mount, they would incite the condemnation of the entire Islamic world. Chaos! Therefore, Israel has held off from proceeding with the reconstruction of the Temple until a more convenient time arrives.
Vic Batista: One can often read in the news about the sordid shootings and killings waged by Palestinians against the Jews. Much hostility exists against the Jews, even though they have generously granted control of the Temple Mount to Jordan. The Jews have yet to claim full control over their birthright. One day they will for certain, because according to Matthew 24 and Revelation 11, there will one day stand the Third Temple on the Temple Mount.There will one day stand the #ThirdTemple on the #TempleMount. Click To Tweet
Nathan Jones: Historically, the First Temple was labeled Solomon’s Temple. After it was destroyed by the Babylonians, Zerubbabel and later Herod built and expanded the Second Temple. That one was, as we explained, destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.
Once, when I traveled to Israel, I was standing with our tour group high up on the Mount of Olives. Our group heard what sounded like a roar advancing across the Kidron Valley. When we peered down onto the Temple Mount, we witnessed angry people pouring out of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. They were screaming and yelling and rioting. Later on the news reported that a Jewish Knesset member had attempted to climb up onto the Temple Mount. The Muslims were rioting over one lone Jewish person standing on their claimed prize. The police were called in to squelch the riot. Such rioting I’m told has become almost an every day occurrence these days. Great tension exists right now between Jordan and Israel over who controls the Temple Mount.
I believe Israel will one day soon become a super power. This happens when God achieves His miraculous victory during the Ezekiel 38-39 Gog-Magog War. Once Russia and her Islamic allies are thoroughly defeated, Islamic pressure on Israel will of course greatly subside, removing any influence it might have held sway over Israel. The Jews would then finally be able to rebuild their Temple on the Temple Mount.
Now, will Israel build the Third Temple on the rubble of the Dome of the Rock? I think so. I don’t believe the Temple will ever share the Temple Mount with the Dome of the Rock. In order for that to happen, that means Islam must forcibly be taken out of the picture, or at least appeased by the most amazing treaty ever devised. I believe the former, for according to the Bible prophecy found in Ezekiel 38-39, Islam will be defeated. And, Islam would also have to be taken out of the picture for the Antichrist to finally declare himself to be God. Allah and Antichrist worship cannot coexist.
Vic Batista: Good point! Quite a number of books and articles have been written about the Temple and theorized how the area will empty itself of the Islamic influence. Islam would have to be completely taken out of the way for the Third Temple to become a reality. As long as Islam remains a dominant force over so much land, it doesn’t look like the Temple can ever be built.
Nathan Jones: Looking at the theory that the Antichrist will forge a covenant with Israel that achieves peace between Islam and Israel, a treaty which allows for the destruction of the Dome and the building of the Temple, maybe a covenant could be made that allows the Jewish people to rebuild the Temple on the Temple Mount. What a peace treaty that would be! Still, the Ezekiel 38-39 Gog-Magog War timing will greatly affect said treaty. Should the Gog-Magog War find fulfillment before the Antichrist rises to power, then Israel would not have anything to worry about because Islam and the Middle East will be vastly decimated by God’s own hand.
Whatever the reason behind it, the Antichrist will create a covenant with Israel. Some sort of peace treaty will be signed. But, Daniel 9:27 reveals the Antichrist will break that covenant some 3.5 years in by desecrating the Temple. As the verse reveals, “Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.”
Second Thessalonians 2:4 adds that the Son of Perdition “who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”
Vic Batista: Timing clues indicate the Gog-Magog War as recorded in Ezekiel 38-39 should occur just before or at the onset of the Tribulation. Frankly, the alliance of Russia, Iran and Turkey is already in place, meaning this prophetic war could occur even in our own time. The Tribulation would then likely begin with Russia and Islam no longer threatening their influence over the world. With Islam expired, that would resolve that tension between the Muslim world and the Jews, and that could allow for Israel to rebuild the Third Temple.
In the thirtieth segment of this series on the mighty angels of Daniel, we’ll recoil at the Prince of Abominations.