The following appeared in the ATLANTIC MONTHLY, back in the early
80s. It gives the overall teaching of many sects of Fundamental
The most widely held view of the end-time, is a pre-millennial
theory (so called because it taught that Jesus would return
before the Millennium) developed by an Englishman, John Nelson
Darby, and incorporated into the Scofield Reference Bible, an
enormously influential book published by the Oxford University
Press in 1909.
The latest revision of the Scofield Reference Bible, a 1967
edition, has sold more than two million copies to date. In this
book, C. I. Scofield printed interpretations of Darby's teachings
on the same pages as the Scripture on which they were ostensibly
based, thus creating an impression in the minds of many readers
that the notes and their teaching were virtually of canonical
Though factions within the ranks of literalist fundamentalism
disagree over the precise sequence of events, those who adhere to
the Darby-Scofield version believe that the triggering action
will be "the Rapture." This term, not found in the Bible, means
"the catching up," and refers to the scene described in I
Thessalonians 4:16,17: "For the Lord Himself shall descend from
heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with
the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ shall rise first; then
we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them
in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" (see my study
expounding the false idea of the "rapture" on this Website -
After the Rapture, a seven-year period of Tribulation will fall
on those left behind. It will begin with the appearance of the
Antichrist as leader of a ten-nation confederation. He will seem
to be a man of peace and will side with Israel when it is
threatened by a northern coalition which is now generally
expected to be led by Russia and to include Germany, the Arabs,
and Iran. His help will not be needed, however, because the
coalition will be so devastated by earthquakes and pestilence
that it will take seven months just to bury the corpses.
Realization that the raptured saints - the faithful who were
caught up had been prudent to believe in Jesus will cause 144,000
Jews and a multitude of gentiles to accept Him as savior and
Messiah. These (converts, together with the two outstanding
prophets, possibly Moses and Elijah brought back to life, will
win others to Christ (No, Moses and the original Elijah will not
be brought back to life, see my study, "The Elijah to Come" -
Keith Hunt). Unfortunately, these new Christians will be marked
for persecution by the Antichrist, who by this time will have
begun to show his true colors. In a symbolic act so egregious
be known as the "abomination of desolation," the Anti-christ
will enter the temple of Jerusalem, cancel all worship services,
and begin to use it as his political headquarters. In fear for
lives, many will seek refuge in the rock cliffs of the ancient
city of Petra in Jordan.
During the Tribulation, the earth and its people will bo visited
by unprecedented inconvenience. Rising sea levels, hundred-pound
hailstones, falling stars, and fires will devastate one third of
the earth. The sun will become seven times hotter than then
normal, then grow dark. Oceans, rivers, and lakes will turn to
blood. Scorpions, locusts, and boils will stupendous earthquakes
will level mountains and cities, and a two-hundred-million-member
army from the East (probably from China) will kill half of those
who manage to survive these disasters. The Antichrist will seek
total control over humanity by requiring that every person wear a
mark or a number (probably 666-the designated "Mark of the
Beast," Revelation 13:16-18) in order to buy or sell. Those who
refuse to accept this Mark of the Beast will be slain or will
risk starvation because they cannot buy food. Those who accept it
will burn forever in hell.
At about this point, the Antichrist will be joined by the False
Prophet, a religious leader associated with Babylon (a city
called "the Mother of Harlots") and often identified in prophetic
circles as the Pope. As cities crumble and the perplexity of
nations mounts, the army of the East will assemble in the plain
of Megiddo, outside Jerusalem, for an all-out assault on the Holy
City. At this point Christ will return in glory to the earth,
touching down on the Mount of Olives and beheld by every human
eye, probably by means of satellite television. He will join the
battle of Armageddon, and His armies, perhaps comprising the
raptured saints, will wreak such destruction that blood will flow
as deep as a horse's bridle for a distance of two hundred miles.
The Antichrist and the False Prophet will be slain and cast into
a lake of fire, and Satan will be bound in a bottomless pit, to
remain for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-3).
With Satan out of the way, at least temporarily, the saints will
enjoy the marvellous Millennium, an age characterized by good
weather, peace, an end to crime, advancement in knowledge, and
absence of fear. At the end of period, in a kind of last sporting
gesture, God will give Satan one more chance to work his evil
ways, and the Prince of Darkness will attempt and win millions of
people who became Christians during the Tribulation and the
Millennium but who nonetheless remained open to his appeal. This
army of backsliders will muster for one final with the faithful
believers, at which time God will bring fire down upon the
heretics, destroying them where stand. Satan and all unbelievers
will join the Anti-christ and the False Prophet in the lake of
fire, where they be tormented day and night forever. The earth
will be destroyed by fire and replaced by a new heaven and a new
earth which will serve as the eternal abode of the redeemed.
Of course like so many other fundamental Protestant teaching,
there is truth but mixed with a lot of error.
Ralph Woodrow has been publishing books and booklets for 4
WHILE MR.WOODROW AND I HAVE MANY DIFFERENCES ON PROPHETIC
UNDERSTANDING HE DOES, I BELIEVE, GIVE THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER
ON DANIEL'S 70th WEEK prophecy.
Here is his nut-shell comments. He does have an indepth booklet
on this passage in Daniel chapter 9.
WILL THE ANTICHRIST MAKE A COVENANT WITH THE JEWS?
We hear a lot of talk these days about the teaching that the
Antichrist will make a covenant with the Jews in a seven year
tribulation period of the future. It is preached on radio,
television, and prophetic tapes. It has been taught from many
pulpits and illustrated on prophetic charts.
Some of the books that tell about the Antichrist and his covenant
with the Jews have become big sellers.
It is claimed that according to Daniel 9:27, the Antichrist will
make a seven year covenant with the Jews in which he will allow
them to offer animal sacrifices in a rebuilt Jewish temple in
Jerusalem; then half way through this tribulation period will
break his covenant and sit himself up as God.
It may come as a surprise to some, but the fact is that not a
single one of these things can be found in the text of Daniel
9:271 Not one.
It is not with any animosity or in an unfriendly way that I point
this out - God is my witness - but for the sake of clarifying
what is Bible truth and what is not. Daniel 9:27 simply does not
say what some try to make it say.
The Biblical portion in question is as follows:
"And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in
the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the
oblation to cease" (Daniel 9:27).
Now first of all, is Antichrist anywhere mentioned or referred to
in this verse? No. The verse begins: "And he..." - and
immediately many read it as though it said: "And the Antichrist"
But look again. The word "he" is a pronoun and must modify a noun
in the passage. The subject of the passage is "Messiah" (verses
25,26). If "he" refers to Messiah(and we believe it does),then
most certainly the reference is not to a future Antichrist.
Messiah caused sacrifices to cease in God's program by giving
Himself in death as the final and perfect sacrifice for sins.
Some say that "he" refers to the word "prince" in the phrase "the
people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and
the sanctuary" (verse 26). But suppose we did link the word "he"
with this phrase (which would be incorrect grammar); even so,
there would be no reference to a future Antichrist. The people
who came and destroyed the city and the sanctuary were the
Romans under the leadership of Titus their prince. This happened
in 70 A. D.
So either way we apply the word "he" there is nothing in the
passage about a yet future Antichrist. This fact alone ought to
be sufficient to show the folly of using this verse in an effort
to teach that the Antichrist will make a covenant with the Jews
in a yet future seven year tribulation period.
But let us look further. Those who apply Daniel 9:27 to
Antichrist say he will "make" a covenant with the Jews during a
future seven year tribulation period and then half way through
this period, will "break" this covenant. Now if the reader will
look closely at this verse, he will find that the word "make"
does not appear in the text at all! There is nothing about the
Antichrist (or anyone else) making a covenant. The verse speaks
about the covenant being "confirmed", a word which carries a
Neither does the word "break" occur in the text. There is
absolutely nothing about anybody breaking a covenant in Daniel
9:27. The idea of somebody breaking a covenant must be
deliberately read into this verse. It is only after a person
assumes the passage refers to Antichrist and assumes that it has
to do with restored animal sacrifices, that anyone would ever be
able to assume that a covenant would be broken.
Another point is also quite apparent: there is no mention
whatsoever of a yet future rebuilt temple mentioned in Daniel
We remember that when the prophecy of Daniel 9 was given,
Jerusalem and the temple had been destroyed (Daniel 9:2).
Daniel's people were slaves in Babylon. But God revealed in this
passage that the command would go forth to build and restore
Jerusalem. All agree that this happened following the return from
Babylon. The book of Ezra tells about the rebuilding of the
temple and we know the temple was standing at the time of our
Lord's first coming. Then the prophecy of Daniel 9 said that this
temple would be destroyed. "The people of the prince that shall
come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary" (Daniel 9:26). It
is agreed that the temple was destroyed when Titus and his armies
came against it in 70 A. D. Beyond this, there is no mention of
any other temple in Daniel 9:27.
Finally, to place Daniel 9:27 into the future requires a gigantic
gap to be inserted between the 69th and 70th weeks of years. It
is agreed that the 69 "weeks" of years measured to the Messiah at
His first coming. But then the gap theory has it that we should
jump over 2,000 years or so for week number 70 to be fulfilled.
Some attempt to fill this gap by teaching that the church is a
"great Parenthesis" in God's program or that the Jewish clock
stopped ticking. But this is only theory built on theory, not on
It can be shown from the scriptures that all the basic parts of
the 70 weeks prophecy have, already been fulfilled- right on time
and without any gaps. The 69 "weeks" measured unto Messiah's
appearance to Israel, in the "week" that followed - the 70th week
- Christ was "cut off" - "in the midst of the week" (after three
and a half years of ministry), and it was His death that caused
sacrifices to forever cease in God's divine program. (Copies of
my booklet "Daniel's 70th Week--Is It Future or Fulfilled?" are
available free upon request - Box 124, Riverside, California
To sum it up, the "dispensational" view is that (1) Daniel 9:27
refers to the Antichrist, (2) the Antichrist will make a covenant
allowing the Jews to offer sacrifices, (3) he will break his
covenant, and (4) the prophecy of the 70th week is yet future.
The truth of the matter is: (1) Antichrist is nowhere mentioned
in the passage, (2) nothing is said to indicate that a covenant
will be made concerning restored sacrifices, (3) nothing is said
about a covenant being broken, and (4) the 70th week is not
future, but has been fulfilled in connection with the first
coming of Christ.
I fully agree with Woodrow on this particular part of prophetic
teaching as contained in the Bible.
For the truth of DANIEL 9 and the 70 WEEK PROPHECY, I refer the
read not only to Woodrow's booklet, but also to the old well
known Bible Commentaries by Adam Clarke, Matthew Henry, Albert
Barnes. They have it all basically correct. They wrote before
Darby and Scofield came along with their "far out" ideas of the
end-time events of prophecy, and before all the fundamentalists
of Protestantism jumped on the Darby/Scofield band wagon.
I will quote from a book in my library called "JERUSALEM - The
Tragedy and the Triumph" written in 1978, page 261-263.
"But the whole question of the next Jewish temple is as complex
and mysterious as the Jew himself. Views vary on WHEN and WHERE
it should be built, and even WHETHER IT IS NECESSARY TO BUILD IT
AT ALL... THE ORTHODOX(Jew) believe that the temple SHOULD NOT BE
BUILT NOW, maintaining that only the Messiah can do this when He
comes,for did not Zechariah say, "...he shall build the temple of
the Lord..."(6:12,13). While this would appear to be sound basis
for their belief, it does not preclude the construction of a
premessianic age temple ..... Malachi assumed its existence when
he said, "The Lord, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to his
temple..." (3:12). Paul, in his epistle to the Thessalonians four
hundred years later, said that it will be in the temple that
the "man of sin.... the son of perdition," will sit,"showing
himself that he is God" (2 Thess.2:3,4,).
Is there anything to prevent a temple from being built now? If a
prerequisite is that it must stand on the traditional site, then
obviously there is - the very substantial Dome of the Rock....
Even if the sanctuary's siting is not considered all that
important, there are, however, other matters regarding temple
ceremonial that might at the moment prove insurmountable ....All
Islam believes that it was from the Dome of the Rock that
Muhammad disappeared on a winged horse into heaven. So the Jew
has guaranteed the Arab his right to worship on the ground where
the temple once stood....."
Did you know that MOST of the population of the Jewish state of
Israel are NOT religious. Most of the government of Israel are
not religious persons. The sincere religious Jew is a very small
minority in Israel. Did you know that all kinds of places and
activities are open on the Sabbath in Israel and that one of the
biggest favorites in the fast food business in Israel is HAM
Most of the population in Israel do not even think about the need
to rebuild a temple. Most could care less!
Did you notice from the above quotation I gave you that the
ORTHODOX Jew believes a temple SHOULD NOT BE BUILT - only the
Messiah can do that when he comes.
Now, as far as the scriptures are concerned, you seem to have a
contradiction. Some verses talk about the Lord building the
temple while others talk about the Lord coming to His temple, and
a "man of sin" sitting in a temple just before the Lord returns.
I shall show you later that there may not be any contradiction at
all, and the answer is not in the idea that TWO temples will be
built - one by the Antichrist and the other by the Messiah after
His return. But before I answer that question I want to give you
some thoughts from the Seventh Day Adventist scholar, Dr. Samuele
Bacchiocchi, on this rebuilt temple teaching. The following is
taken from chapter 11 of Dr.Bacchiocchi's book "THE ADVENT HOPE
for human Hopelessness."
THE REBUILDING OF THE TRIBULATION TEMPLE
A third popular mistaken Advent sign, closely related to the
previous two (restoration of the Jews to Palestine and the
rapture), is the alleged rebuilding of the Jerusalem temple
during the final tribulation. There are many who believe that the
Jerusalem temple, first built by Solomon and later rebuilt by
Zerubbabel and remodelled by Herod, will be erected twice again
the future, the first time by the Jews during the seven-year
tribulation- thus called "the tribulation temple" - and the
second time by Christ when He returns to establish His thousand
year reign- thus called "the millennial temple."
For the purpose of our study, consideration will be given to the
alleged building of the tribulation temple, since this is viewed
by many dispensational Christians as a most significant prophetic
sign of the imminence of Christ's Return.
THE TIME OF REBUILDING THE TEMPLE
The tribulation temple, according to most dispensationalists,
must be rebuilt by the middle of the seven-year tribulation.
Thomas S.McCall, a leading dispensationalist, articulates this
view forcefully: "As far as the time is concerned, it has been
dogmatically stated that the temple must be rebuilt by the middle
of the tribulation. This is all that is revealed."
This conclusion is drawn from a fanciful interpretation of four
main Biblical passages (Dan. 9:26-27; Matt. 2:4:15-16; 2 Thess.
2:3-4; and Rev. 11:1-2). The texts are supposed to teach that a
Roman antichrist will arise and make a covenant with Israel for
one week(Dan 9:27),that is, for the duration of the seven years
of the final tribulation. As a result of this treaty, the
erection of the temple and re-institution of the sacrificial
services will take place.erection of the temple and the services
will take place.
At midpoint of the tribulation period, the Roman antichrist is
supposed to break his covenant with the Jews and go to the
temple, claiming to be God, thus accomplishing the abomination of
desolation (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15-16) by disrupting the temple's
The rebuilding of the temple is then closely related to the
rapture since the latter supposedly marks the beginning of the
seven-year final tribulation during which time the temple is
first rebuilt and then profaned by the antichrist.
HAL LINDSEY'S TIME TABLE
According to Hal Lindsey's prophetic timetable, the rebuilding of
the Jerusalem Temple was to have been completed by the middle of
the 1980's, that is, at midpoint of the seven-year countdown
which terminates by 1988. The treaty of protection which the
Roman antichrist was to make with Israel immediately after the
rapture was to enable the Jews to rebuild their Temple in three
and one-half years and to re-institute the sacrificial services
(Dan. 9:26-27; Matt. 24:1516; Rev. 11:1-2). In 1970 Lindsey wrote
that with the "talk of rebuilding the great Temple, the most
important prophetic sign of Jesus Christ's soon coming is before
Rumors of Rebuilding the Temple. The desire, perhaps, to help God
out in fulfilling the "prophecy" of rebuilding the tribulation
temple may have inspired some to spread rumors that the building
material for this project has been secretly prepared in the
United States. "Christianity Today" reported in 1967 that "a few
years ago reports were widely circulated that a prefabricated
temple destined for Jerusalem was seen at a port somewhere in
An article appeared in August 1967 in the British magazine "The
Christian and Christianity Today" reporting news "received from
authoritative sources in Sellersburg, Indiana" that "five hundred
railcar loads of stone from Bedford [Indiana], considered to be
among the finest building stone in the world, are being freighted
pre-cut to exact specifications, and one consignment has already
been dispatched to Israel. Shipments are being handled by Pier 26
in New York."
The entire story has been flatly denied both by the Israeli
government and by industry sources in Indiana. To my knowledge,
the only fabrication that has begun is not that of the Temple but
of stories about it. Such a fanciful fabrication reflects the
unusual interest of some dispensationalists to help God out in
fulfilling what they perceive to be an end-time prophecy.
SCRIPTURAL "SUPPORT" FOR THE TRIBULATION TEMPLE
Daniel 9:24-27. Scriptural support for the rebuilding of the
Jerusalem Temple during the final tribulation is sought in
several prophetic passages. The first and foremost of these is
the seventy-week prophecy found in Daniel 9:24-27. Dispensa-
tionalists dissect the one prophecy contained in this passage
into two distinct prophecies. In verse 26 they see the first
prophecy predicting the death of the Messiah "after the
sixty-ninth week but not in the seventieth," and the destruction
of Jerusalem and its temple in A.D.70 by the Roman army.
In verse 27 they find a second prophecy predicting the rise of an
antichrist more than nineteen centuries after the death of
Christ. This antichrist is supposed to be a Roman dictator who
will rise out of the European Common Market. He will make a
covenant with the Jews "for one week," that is, for the seven
years of the seventieth week.
This covenant is supposed to enable the Jews to rebuild their
temple and to re-institute their ancient sacrificial services. In
the midst of this seven-year period ("half of the week"),
however, the Roman antichrist will allegedly break the covenant;
he "shall cause sacrifice and offering to cease," and will take
"his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God"
(2 Thess 2:4). By these acts he will bring about "the
abominations" mentioned by Daniel (9:27) and referred to by
Christ ("desolating sacrilege"- Matt. 24:1$-16).
This intriguing interpretation suffers from three major flaws.
First, it breaks the unity of the seventy-week prophecy by
introducing a time gap of almost twenty centuries between the
sixty-nine weeks and seventieth week. Nowhere does Gabriel imply
a gap among the three periods constituting the seventy weeks:
seven weeks, sixty-two weeks and one week. These three time units
are presented as a continuous, consecutive and unbreakable unity
as indicated by the fact that they are first given in verse 24 as
one basic period of "seventy weeks."
REPETITION WITH ELABORATION
The second weakness is the failure to recognize the Hebrew
stylistic pattern of "repetition with elaboration" in Daniel
9:24-27. Recent studies have shown that the verbal correspondence
existing between verses 26 and 27 makes the latter verse an
elaboration of the former. The pattern of Messiah versus
Destroyer found in verse 26 is repeated as Messiah versus
Desolator in verse 27. The latter verse, however, adds
significant information. The Messiah who in verse 26 is simply
"cut off," in verse 27 "shall make a strong covenant with many
for one week; and for half of the week he shall cause sacrifice
and offering to cease." Both of these acts were fulfilled by
Christ when He confirmed God's covenant by instituting the Lord's
Supper (Matt 26:28) and when He brought to an end the validity of
the sacrificial system through the rending asunder of the curtain
of the temple at the time of His death (Matt. 27:51; cf. Heb.
The desolator, who in verse 26 destroys the city and the temple,
comes in verse 27 "upon the wing of abominations" to make
"desolate." By this language is described the complete
destruction of the temple by the Roman General Titus in A.D. 70.
Thus the Hebrew parallelism between verses 26 and 27 suggests
that the Desolator of verse 27 is not an End-time Roman dictator
who will arise out of the European Common Market and destroy the
tribulation temple, but rather, he is the same Roman General.
Titus alluded to in verse 26 who did destroy Jerusalem and its
temple in A.D. 70. Unfortunately, dispensationalists have divided
one prophecy into two, thereby transforming a past Roman Prince
who destroyed Jerusalem and its Temple into a future antichrist
who is supposed to desecrate and destroy a literal temple that at
present does not even exist.
CHRIST'S INTERPRETATION OF DANIEL 9:27
The third weakness of the dispensationalist interpretation of
Daniel 9:27 is its disregard for Jesus' application of Daniel's
desolating abomination to His own immediate future. Christ's
prediction regarding "the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the
prophet Daniel" (Matt. 24:15) is clearly paraphrased by Luke as
"Jerusalem surrounded by armies" (Luke 21:20). This paraphrase
was made by Luke, as most scholars recognize, because he was
writing for Greek readers who would not understand the meaning of
the Jewish expression "the desolating sacrilege" used by Christ.
In addition to the theological objections already mentioned,
there are several practical obstacles to the rebuilding of the
temple. The most serious of these is doubtless the presence of
the Moslem Dome of the Rock and the nearby Al-Aksa Mosque, which
appear to be situated on the very ancient Temple site. Since for
Judaism the ancient site is the only permissible location for the
temple, the Dome of the Rock would have to be removed before any
rebuilding of the temple could be considered. Such an action
would precipitate an Arab holy war against Israel, besides
violating the Israelis' commitment to respect the sacred sites of
Another practical objection is the prevailing belief among
Orthodox Jews that only the Messiah can rebuild the Temple. Since
the Messiah has not yet come, Jews are not at liberty to
rebuild the Temple. Moreover, before the Jews could consider
rebuilding the Temple, they would need to accept the notion of
reviving sacrifices - a notion which most Jews find repulsive and
abhorrent. Modern Judaism views the sacrificial system as an
ancient and outmoded form of religious expression which has been
replaced by repentance, prayer, good deeds, Torah-study, charity,
The above considerations suffice to show that the rebuilding of
the Jerusalem temple is another mistaken sign of the
dispensational end-time scenario which completely lacks Biblical
support. Not only has the ancient Temple not been rebuilt by the
middle of the eighties, as Lindsey predicted, but also it seems
very unlikely that its rebuilding could take place in the near
future on account of the crucial theological and practical
objections mentioned above.
Let me add in closing this first part, that re-instituting daily
animal sacrifices who bring millions of angry protesters of
"animal rights" groups down on the head of the Israel government.
Such people would probably even blow up such a building used for
daily animal slaughtering for religious rituals.
TO BE CONTINUED