There is no seven (7) literal years of Antichrist reign after the rapture in scripture: There is absolutely nowhere in the scriptures in which one can find the Antichrist reign and oppression for seven or three and half years after the second coming of Christ. The popular unscriptural teaching is that Antichrist reign will last for 1 week (7 years) as seen in Daniel’s 70 weeks. He is said to rise as a peaceful world leader in the first 3 ½ years but in the next 3 ½ years, he will be the real devil he is.
The last week of the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel 9 cannot be detached from the whole block of time and applied to a future period for Antichrist’s reign. The 70 weeks prophecy was probationary time given to Daniel’s people, the Jews (Daniel 9:24). This block of time stretches from the time the commandment or decree was given to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the time the Messiah or Christ would come (the first time) to die (Daniel 9:25) and when the gospel will go to the Gentiles. That decree was given by Artaxerxes Longimanus I in 457 B.C. and says in verse 25 that the first 69 weeks (483 years, when you apply the year/day principle [see Ezekiel 4:6; Numbers 14:33) would lead to the appearance of the Messiah. Messiah is a Hebrew word that means “anointed.” The Greek equivalent is Christos. This part of the time prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus was baptized in A.D. 27, exactly 69 weeks or 483 years from 457 B.C. That’s when He was anointed with the Holy Spirit and was presented or officially introduced to Israel by John the Baptist as the Messiah.
Now there remains one prophetic week out of the 70 weeks prophecy. That is the seven years that is now said to be meant for the reign of Antichrist. But this seven years is not meant for the reign and activities of Antichrist, but that of Christ Himself. This may come as a surprise to many. First and foremost, you should know that this prophecy is about Christ and not Antichrist. Notice also that the one week is a part of the 70 weeks. It cannot be separated from it and applied to the future. There is no indication of such a separation or divorce of the one week or seven years of time from the 70 weeks in the text. The 70 weeks is one block of time and the angel who was interpreting was only giving Daniel, as well as us, a breakdown of what will happen at different times during the one block of time. This prophecy is perhaps the strongest evidence that can be presented to show that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Saviour that was to come to save the world. So this prophecy is about Christ and NOT Antichrist. Now let’s read verses 26 and 27 that tell us what happens to Christ and what He accomplishes in the 70th week of the 70 weeks prophecy in the King James Version (some modern ecumenical and biased Bibles translators have rendered the verse with to make it refer to Antichrist):
“26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he [Messiah, NOT Antichrist] 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, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Daniel 9:26, 27).
Notice that verse 26 talks about Messiah being “cut of.” That’s a prophecy about Christ’s death. Notice too that it says He will not die for Himself, but for us. Then there is prediction about the prince that shall come and destroy the city that is referred to as the “abominations” that causes “desolations.” This is a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem by Prince Titus in A.D. 70. Titus, who became Roman emperor (79–81), was the prophesied “prince” in Daniel 9: 26, 27 was to be the conqueror of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. After service in Britain and Germany, Titus commanded a legion under his father, Emperor Vespasian, in Judaea in A.D. 67. Christ confirmed that this is the true interpretation of Daniel 9: 26, 27 when He was prophesying about the destruction of Jerusalem in Matthew 24 and He referred to it as the “abomination of desolation, spoken by Daniel the prophet” (verse 15). Christ used the very words in Daniel 9:26, 27. Some have applied this prophecy to Antiochus Epiphanes of the 2nd century B.C., who lived about 200 years before Christ. But this cannot be correct because Christ applied the prophecy to the future from His time. He said in Matthew 24:15: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:).” So the fulfilment of the abominations of desolation through war cannot be a reference to Antiochus Epiphanes, but to Prince Titus.
Now back to the biggest Messianic event of the 70th week. Read it again inDaniel 9: 27: “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, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”
It’s very clear. While confirming the covenant in the last one week of the 70 weeks prophecy, Messiah is “cut of” and the Old Testament sacrifices or sacrificial system ceases or comes to an end. The “midst of the week” here will be three and half years from A.D. 27, which brings us to A.D. 31, the exact year Christ died on the cross. The next three and half years lands us in A.D. 34, the end of the 70 weeks prophecy. What happened that year? The Jewish council called the Sanhedrin, rejected Christ officially when they rejected the gospel preached to them by Stephen and ordered that he be stoned to death. From A.D. 34, the Jews ceased to be God’s chosen agency to reveal the mystery of salvation to the world and the gospel goes to the Gentiles. Remember that the 70 weeks was given to them as probationary time.
Let me prove this a little further. Before A.D. 34 Jesus commissioned His disciples to preach only to the Jews: “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Matthew 10: 5, 6). Why would He make such a statement? Because it was not time in God’s prophetic calendar for the gospel to go to the Gentiles. He wanted to use the Jewish nation but they rejected the gospel. This is the understanding of Paul and the other apostles after A.D. 34. Remember Paul was converted after the death of the first Christian martyr, Stephen who was killed in A.D. 34. Listen as he addressed the Jewish leaders:
“But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles” (Acts 13: 45, 46).
The Jews, as a nation (not as individuals), misused their probationary time of 70 weeks or 490 years and God founded a new Israel from all nations of those who believe in Jesus as the Christ (Galatians 3: 26-29).
So the whole seven years theory of the Antichrist reign is not biblical. It was a Catholic Jesuit diversionary interpretation to make people not to focus on the real Antichrist identified by the Protestant Reformation in the Bible. This Antichrist remains the papal system.
Azanor Eddy Thompson