The "Prophetic Area" and its Significance!
What is the meaning of the “Prophetic Area” in the above title, to what does it refer; and what is its significance? Dealing first with the Prophetic Area, the understanding of this is crucial to understanding Almighty God’s Purpose for Israel and mankind, which leads automatically to understanding of its significance!
It is not a much used phrase, except by speakers at Bible Conferences, and in the better churches, where the teaching and message is Bible based, and the Truth of Almighty God is not excluded by Priests, Vicars and corrupt speakers (Romans 1:18!).
How can it be known what area of the world the phrase refers to; and also, what would be its purpose from God to inform mankind in this way?
There are in the Bible a number of Prophetic Books, many of which can without careful and prayerful study be easily misunderstood, as they are almost always intertwined with other subjects, always relating to Israel, either directly or indirectly. This was due to God’s dealings and warnings to Israel; because of the mainly bad behaviour of Israel, which was contrary to Israel’s vows and promises to their Jehovah God; as recorded in Deuteronomy and elsewhere in the Old Testament (OT); and as recorded and summarised in the book of Malachi!
There is however one Book in the OT which is specific in its information regarding Israel’s future; its land area; its application to Israel and the Gentile Nations; and is specific in some of its information regarding events, but not the dating of those events.
The nature of the information is such, that those who are aware (people who study, pray and yearn) for those things to reach fulfilment; will be able to recognise what is happening in the world, and around them!
The prophetic Book in point is Daniel; and as said, the information is so lucid, that many Bible critics have tried to prove (unsuccessfully) that parts of the Book were written after the events which are portrayed!
Many good writers have written books, or referred frequently to Daniel; Dr. E.W. Bullinger; Charles Welch; John Walvoored; Otis Sellers, to name just a few. What is notable about their writings is that though they differ in some interpretations, they all agree that Daniel is a/the key document in the understanding of God’s prophetic progress for Israel, and the world’s peoples. Israel is always central, and God’s purpose for them is eventually shown to be fulfilled (Dan. 12); together with the defeat of Satan; and the harvesting (the saved) of many peoples from all the Nations of the world; who have trusted in the Substitutional Work of Christ Jesus on the Calvary Cross!
Although Daniel is written by the Holy Spirit (The Third Person of the Triune God) via. Daniel, during the exile of Israel in Babylon; the focus of the narrative is particularly on the events affecting Israel and the world in the “last days”. This is emphasised by Jesus The Christ (The Second Person of The Godhead) in Matt. 24:15, when He referred to Daniel’s comments of that future time, during his answer to His disciples question of 24:3, “what shall be the sign of Thy coming”?
It is clear therefore that Christ Jesus’ return to Earth (His Second Advent) is linked to His answer in Matt. 24:15-42!
(It should be noted here that there are two glaring mistranslations in Matt. 24:3 “world” should read “Age”. V34; “this generation” should read “that generation”, i.e. the people then alive who witness the events Jesus had just described).
Getting now into the substance of knowing where the “Prophetic Area” is located on planet Earth, its land areas, and its varying extents, the following is taken from earlier work on the subject.
Chapter two of Daniel’s book, concerns the dream which was had by King Nebuchadnezzar, which troubled him to the extent that he could not sleep.
He summoned to his presence his “magicians, astrologers, and sorcerers”; who were commanded to give the interpretation of the dream which he had dreamed!
They asked the King to give the dream to them, so that they could give him the meaning. The King refused, stating that they should know the dream, and that would convince him that they could give the true interpretation!
When they could not, the King ordered that they all be put to death, which was underway, when the executioners came to Daniel. Daniel requested an audience with the King, which was granted; and he requested a small time, so that he would be able to tell the King both the dream and its meaning.
Daniel and his companions prayed to God; and the secret was revealed to Daniel in a “night vision”.
Daniel prayed to God with thanks and praise for the revelations, which is related in Dan. 2:20-23.
He then went to Arioch the King’s Captain, appointed to execute all Babylon’s wise men, asking him not to continue the executions, as he had the dream and its interpretation for the King to hear.
Daniel was immediately granted presence to the King who requested confirmation of the statement by Arioch. Daniel confirmed that he was able to tell the King what his dream was, and after witnessing to the “God of Heaven”, Who was able to give and reveal “secrets”; and that He had “made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what would be in “the latter days”.
These "latter days" correspond to Gen. 49:1; Num. 24:14; Deut. 4:30; and 31:29. The whole of this prophecy from the dying Jacob, is pertinent to Daniel’s prophecy; particularly Dan. 2:24; which reveals the origin of “the Stone of Israel”! That “Stone” is the one mentioned in Dan. 2:25, 35 and 45; and He is the “Christ” of God, the Saviour of Christians; and the Messiah of Israel and Prophecy!
Daniel then commenced to give the dream the King had received, a great image of a man, Dan. 2:32-33:
1) A head of gold. (Babylonia)
2) Chest and arms of silver. (Medo-Persia)
3) Belly and thighs of bronze. (Greece)
4) Legs of iron. (Rome)
5) Feet part iron and baked clay. (Probably Rev Chapter 13).
Dan. 2.34 shows the King observing as “a stone was cut without hands” (an act of God alone), which struck the feet, "and crushed them in pieces"!
Dan. 2:35 shows “the stone” apparently striking the image in the order of 4,5,3,2 & 1, above. The stone then “became a great mountain and filled the whole Earth”! However; V.34 clearly states that the “feet of iron and baked clay” were struck first! The apparent anomaly of the different order of “crushing” in V.45; in all probability does not exist, because we are told in V.35 that the areas of the Kingdoms are “crushed together”; which probably means at the same time!
Daniel then explained to Nebuchadnezzar that he was “that head of Gold”, and that the metals below him would be inferior Kingdoms which would subsume his, in the land area which would grow larger than Babylonia due to the extent and size of the later Powers (this is considered the “Prophetic Area”); and as Rome (the legs) was the last Empire in Nebuchadnezzar's dream; its borders can be considered its maximum area, as regarding "the toes".
The “feet and toes” would be the most unstable (mix of iron and baked clay, the toes representing ten Kings Vs 43-44). The feet of iron and clay #5 above, has not yet existed. That it will have initially 10 Kings, and is at the lower extremities of the legs (i.e the feet supporting the whole image!). #4 above, indicates that it is the extremities of the Roman Empire, and is made up of those countries that were at the end of the power of Rome, and at the southern or lower end of the legs. Those countries coincide with the listings given in Scripture, see: Confederation of 10 Nations.
It is interesting to note that in Dan. 2:45, the order of Empires is not the same as V35. This probably because “the stone” (Christ Jesus Messiah) deals with those areas which will again have power in the order given; 4,3,5,2 & 1; so as to be most effective with the degrees of power then exerted; and to have maximum and expeditious effect. The fact that in V.45 the “clay” is in the middle of the image, may well represent infiltration into the whole body of the image, and the countries and land areas that each represents. That would mean that the “clay” had spread westwards including Greece, Rome in its old boundaries; east to old Persia (Iran) and beyond; north to Babylonia (Iraq) and the Caucuses etc. These are apparently the limits of the old Empire, and the “Prophetic Area”!
“The stone” is of course as mentioned Christ Jesus Messiah, at His second Advent, dealing with the peoples of whole world, not just the old “Prophetic Area”! This change is easily reconciled with Scripture, in the knowledge that at Rev. 1:10, “the Day of Jehovah Zebaoth” is announced; which, is God’s Title when He is dealing with all the world’s population!
So; in summary so far, a special image is given in a dream to Nebuchadnezzar, and the only person able to give its meaning to him is Daniel; who, is a very special Jew to Almighty God, because of his faithfulness and trust in God; and who undertakes to pray for his fellow Jews as individuals and as a Nation; in the full knowledge of their sinful behaviour towards their Jehovah God (Dan. 9:23 & 1-19)! Also, it is easy to see the extent of the Prophetic Area, by examination of the area covered by each of the Empires that followed the Babylonian. The establishment of that area in the mind of the reader, is important when considering the significance and end result of the Prophetic Area!
(Note Aug. 2021); in Afghanistan presently, The Taliban are swiftly taking over the country, as the US and other Troops withdraw! If they are eventually successful in forming a "Shia Caliphate"; there will be accelerated problems for the whole of the Mid.-East; probably involving Israel and others such as Iran, Turkey, Jordon, Egypt etc., listed in Psalm 83. This due to the control at present of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, by Israel (and vicariously Jordon); and the stated intent by both Turkey and Taliban, to eventually control Jerusalem and the Temple Mount; as Islam's 3rd. most holy site; for both Shia and Sunni Adherents! As Afghanistan was occupied by Darius (1) in 521-405 BC, (therefore affecting Israel); this current activity by the Taliban qualifies as in the "Prophetic Area", therefor affecting Israel at some stage.
During Daniel’s impassioned prayer, at verse 20 of Chapter 9; he is visited by Gabriel, who had been sent by God to give understanding and meaning to him, regarding what has come to be known as the 490 year prophecy “regarding the Jews and the Holy City”!
At this stage we include earlier work, to avoid repeating.
The 490 years Prophecy given to Daniel by Gabriel
This prophecy (Dan. 9:22-27), was given to Daniel by the angel Gabriel, sent by God (Dan. 9:20-27); and had special relevance for the near future of Daniel, and the still future at the date of this writing (March 2016).
Before considering what the book of Daniel in the Bible says regarding the prophecy given to Daniel by Gabriel; a few facts are worthy of consideration regarding the man Daniel, and his relationship with Jehovah God.
As a careful and prayerful reading of Daniel shows, Daniel was a particularly beloved man of Israel by God, due to his steadfast love of, and faith in his God Jehovah (9:23; 10:11 & 10:19). His faith in God, and his fidelity to Him is indeed a beautiful example of what God had required of Israel when He made them a Nation; and which Israel had promised and vowed they would be (2 Kings 17:13-15 etc.)!
Daniel at the time the prophecies were given to him, was in captivity in Babylon starting in the year BC. 497; and Israel was in that state of captivity and dispersion in Babylon and Assyria, due to their gross sin of rebellion against their God Jehovah, in almost all their history since they were saved from slavery in Egypt!
When they were saved from Egypt, God clearly stated why He was treating them so favourably (Ex. 2:24; Gen. 50:24; Ex. 3:8; 4:22 & 19:5-6). They however quickly became unfaithful and wanton; see Deut. 32!
Daniel, (see: Daniel in the Lion's Den), like Joseph earlier, stood out as an example of what God required of His “Chosen People” (Deut. 14:2), and which He sought of all Israel, to form His “Kingdom of priests” (Ex. 19:6; 1Peter 2:9 & Rev. 1:6); the Ideal Israel (“Jeshurun”).
Jeshurun means “upright”, which quality God had required of Israel after the Exodus, by their own freewill! The will of Israel, freely given in righteousness, was what God wanted, for them to become the “wife” of Isaiah 54:5-6!
However; as is always the case despite Israel’s sin, God’s Plans cannot be thwarted in His battle with Satan (see: Satan's Motivation: and Satan's Origins;) and in His revealing’s to Daniel regarding the future of Israel (and the world); He is about to give details which partly have been fulfilled; but critically at this date March 2016) have yet to be completed.
Note: at this date, the Middle East is in turmoil with many of the countries involved listed in the Bible. Revelation 13 describes such turmoil, as does much of Revelation!
As regards Daniel’s position with the then King of Babylon Nebuchadnezzar, he had gained respect and favour with him when he successfully interpreted a dream which had troubled Nebuchadnezzar. Not only did he give its meaning; but Daniel also gave the dream, (which the King had not revealed); which proved to the King that Daniel’s God was the Author of not only his dream; but also of all creation (Dan. 2:47). Daniel had told the King that he would pray to God for all of the dream and meaning to be given to him for the King, (Dan. 2:16), and in doing so witnessed to the One True God! The dream itself concerned Nebuchadnezzar’s time on Earth; but also reached far into the future, even beyond the current date (March 2016); (Dan. 2).
Daniel’s faith in God was severely tested in Dan. 6; as Nebuchadnezzar foolishly allowed himself to be tricked by his own servants, and his own Kingly pride (Dan. 6:7-9); which put Daniel in the position of having to choose to obey the King, or Jehovah God! (see: Fear God OR Fear Man?). Daniel ignored the legal decree; and prayed as usual to his God; (Dan. 6:10). He was then thrown into the Lion’s den, but an angel of God protected him (6:22), much to the relief of Nebuchadnezzar, as he had a close relationship with Daniel (Dan. 6:18-20). Daniel’s enemies and their families were then given to the Lions, and they were devoured completely!
As can be seen from the above, and reading the book of Daniel in the Bible, he was an exceptional person in his fidelity to God; who was entrusted with great prophecy for his people, and the world! This is reinforced by Jesus Himself in His comments to His disciples in Matt. 24:15 when He directly refers to Daniel, as He spoke in answer to their questions regarding the “end of the Age” (Matt. 24:3); showing the critical point which was to be reached in their future Tribulation (“Jacob’s trouble” Jer. 30:7). Here is shown the last trauma that the human Jacob is yet to experience; those surviving will be the “True Israel”; the Jeshurun of prophecy, (Isa. 44:2)!
As has been stated, Daniel was a very devout man of God. He had by his freewill proved his love and fidelity to his Jehovah. He knew his and Israel’s sinfulness, and always threw himself, and vicariously Israel on God’s mercy, at the beginning of his prayers and supplications; (a good example to follow, as it shows real knowledge of self and humankind, which can only lead to humility in truth before God, which He will always respect, Psm. 51:17). The opposite is God’s distain and action against unbridled lust for power and self-aggrandisement, (Dan. 4:30-37)! It is also interesting to note that in Daniel’s case, he frequently spoke of God’s love for Israel, Jerusalem, and that Jerusalem was/is called after His Holy Name, in his prayers (Dan. 9:15-19)!
In Daniel Chapters 1 to 7, the original language used in the manuscripts is Chaldee (the Gentile language) and Dr. Bullinger notes: “because it is a continuation of Dan. 2:44, and shows what will take place “in the days of those kings” (Rev. 17:12-18), before the stone strikes the image. It brings us to the end of the Gentile domination over Israel”. From Chapter 8 to the end of the book, the language is Hebrew, and Dr. Bullinger notes: “because its purpose is to show how Gentile dominion (of Chapter 2) specially concerns and affects Israel”.
In the early Chapters, Daniel by dreams and direct revelation, received from God information regarding his people, and future events, which greatly disturbed him, (Dan. 7:15). There is much detail in the Chapters, and many “Christian” commentators have given their opinions and interpretations in their writings as to the meanings; which can only be speculation, as the detail is specifically commented on as relevant to “the end times” (Dan. 7:26; 8:17-19; 11:40; 12:4, 9 & 13); and, also specifically stated as “sealed” (Dan. 12:4 and 9) until that time has arrived. Also; as is clearly stated in Dan. 12:1, the events specifically concern “his people” (i.e. Daniel’s people, the Jews). These facts need to be realised by Gentile readers and teachers, as to try to see detail in the text of “end time events”, clearly goes against the specific instruction of the book! What is totally permissible is to be aware of changes in events, especially in the “Prophetic Area”, and in the countries listed in Scripture which in prophecy relate to Israel and the Middle East; and particularly the countries represented in the “image” of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of Dan. 2.
Turning now to the specific prophecy given to Daniel by Gabriel, (Dan. 9:21-27), and regarding the timing of events that had been shown to him. What is notable is the degree of certainty related in V24, as to the objectives of Almighty God in all the prophecies given to Daniel; and in this list of priorities, which show the eventual triumph of God’s Plan of Salvation for mankind, and His rescue of aberrant Israel, (Zech. 12:10).
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 the Prophecy,
and to anoint the most Holy.
Here, great care is needed not to undervalue each of the elements of the above statement! It must be kept in mind that Almighty God is revealing His innermost motivation in His Plan to rid the world (and all Creation) of the effect of Satan’s rebellion (see: Satan's Origins;); and although we are given in Scripture some knowledge as to the depths of Satan’s actions and their effects on human kind, and heavenly Creation, we can only know a little of the task that God has undertaken in the Form of Christ Jesus! Also; as is shown in the 5th element, the vision and prophecy are “sealed”; as stated to Daniel!
The comment has been made to the writers that God’s Plan seems to take too long to become effective. When it is understood that though God’s Plan and actions seem to us to be protracted here on Earth; it is a Plan of “Ultimate Love”, as opposed to quick and powerful annihilation of evil and Satan, (see: Ultimate Love ). Also; as humans on Earth, we are subject to “time”, as we understand it which is a concept we cannot understand in the sense of The Godhead (Psm. 90:4 & 2Peter 3:8)! However; no matter how it is seen to humans, the outcome is as God’s Plan of vanquishing Satan and his evil! For us, it is a matter of faith in Him, as per the example of Daniel!
The statement by Gabriel to Daniel: “Seventy weeks (70 x 7 = 490 years) are determined upon thy people and upon thy Holy City”; are clear statements; and are clearly linked to the Jews and to Jerusalem! That they are years and not days is clearly confirmed in Dan. 7:25 & Rev. 11:2-3! (These statements are also firm rebuttals to those people that teach that Israel has been cast away forever, (see: Replacement Theology).
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times”. (7weeks + 62weeks = 69 weeks [69 x 7 = 483 years]). This clearly leaves a remainder of 7 years.
The Companion Bible shows the 7 weeks (49 years), to be the duration of the rebuilding of the Temple (454BC to 405BC).
The 62 weeks (434 years), begun in 405BC and ending in 29AD, giving a total of 483 years; at the death of Messiah! (Dan. 9:26: “And after three score and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for Himself”:
The 7 year remainder is emphasised above, because some recent teaching is that “more time is needed to accomplish the prophecies given”, especially in Chapter 11, up to V20. Dr. Bullinger in the Companion Bible gives fulfilment to each of the prophecies from history, in each of the verses up to V20; but from V21 onwards ascribes to the yet future (at that time of his writing, AD 1912) and to the time of Antichrist and “the latter days” (Dan. 10:14); therefore the last “7” years of the 490 prophecy!
Critics of the Bible have tried to discredit the book of Daniel in the last 200 years “as written in part after the facts”, as the events of Chapter 11:1-20 have been so accurately fulfilled! However, they have dropped away, and the current attempt at “explanation” is as above!
It is the opinion of the writers that insufficient attention is given to the firm comments of the Holy Spirit in Daniel regarding the “sealing, the latter days, the times of the end”, Dan. 12:4 etc. (see refs. above); which imply that only then will detailed clarity be possible regarding the events and timing; with the certain knowledge that the duration will be 7 years in total! This is confirmed in many parts of Scripture, and clearly in Dan. 9:27: “And he (the anti-Christ) shall confirm the covenant (a covenant) with many for one week” (7 years)!
It is considered by some sincere Christians, that “The Day of The Lord” (or the Lord’s Day); is not enacted on Earth until the start of the “Millennial” (Kingdom of God on Earth; as per the Lord’s Prayer). However; the writers opinion is that Rev. 1:10 (which refers to this event starting), is just prior to the exhortation to the “Churches” (Ekklesia); and importantly, Satan’s seat is already at Pergamum! Also; it is our opinion that the duration is probably 3½ years, not 7; as the first 3½ years of Daniel’s last seven will have already elapsed, in which Israel will have enjoyed “peace and security” (1Thess. 5:3; & Dan. 9:27), under the “man of sin”, from the signing of the peace accord of Daniel 9:27!
A further clue is that God’s Power for resisting Satan is again apparent, (as per the Acts period); which as Chapter one shows is via Christ Jesus to those Jews (and perhaps Gentiles), who by faith actively call on His Name for empowerment!
The Charismatic Churches will object “that the Power has never stopped”. This is complete fallacy, and from Satan in our firm opinion! (See: Events of Pentecost; What is the Truth? (Discussion Document). And Charismatics; Rev. Chp. 1:11(a) and Charismatic Teachings: )
The last seven years are discussed in www.revelationsmessage.co.uk, in many parts, but particularly in Revelation Chapters 12, 13 and 17. We make clear in the Front Page that those writings are meant as a study aid, not as absolute definition; and are meant to encourage personal study of Revelation/Scripture.
For the Christian (Christ-one), the example given by Daniel and his fidelity and faith in Jehovah God, are an inspiration. Daniel was so open and honest in the knowledge of his own human failings, and in the failure of Israel; which is sadly lacking in people today on Earth. However; any person on Earth today can be perfect in God’s sight, because of the death Sacrifice of Christ Jesus Messiah; they only have to see their need of Him; and take Him on His Word; that person is then “saved” for all eternity; and immediately “sealed” (Eph. 1:13) in Heaven until the time of the completion of the Salvation Work of Christ Jesus; (John 3:16 & 6:37-40).
Summary to this stage; it has been shown above that the remarkable prophecies in Daniel define the Prophetic Area. Also shown is that they apply to the Kingdoms that Nebuchadnezzar headed, and that their value diminished on each transition to the next. That the major application is to Israel and the “Holy City” (Jerusalem) is repeatedly emphasised; as also the “end times”, as defined by Jacob in Gen. 49.
The image in Dan. 2; from head of gold to feet of baked clay mixed with iron; is shown to be destroyed by “the stone” (Christ Jesus), when it strikes the image on the feet (Dan. 2:34-35); the “stone” then became a “great mountain” and filled the whole Earth !
What then had been destroyed? After all, God had set up the image from its golden head onwards (Dan. 2:37); as is commented by Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar!
Here is where much wrong teaching and misunderstanding gets in the way of the understanding that God would have all men of goodwill have in their souls!
It is seen above in Dan. 9:24, that Gabriel gave to Daniel full description of God’s purposes; and that they culminated in the full “anointed” presence of the “most Holy” (Christ Jesus); which allowed Him to destroy the “image”; but only after “end of transgression; end of sins; reconciliation for iniquity; advent of everlasting righteousness; the sealing of the vision and the prophecy”!
The destruction of the Image was via the feet being crushed. The iron was/is part of the legacy of Imperial Rome, morphed into “The Holy Roman Church”. That Church is corrupted by its use of Babylonian religious practices and symbols, and has been such since AD 300 approx. The narrative shows that the feet also contain “baked clay” which would indicate a further element of corrupted content and/or practices! The two do not mix well together, and the ten toes indicate much strife and even warfare! There have been many attempts to identify who or what is the baked clay; but all is speculation; sufficient to say that they fail, as does the whole edifice under the dominion of Christ Jesus; as He at the same time defeats and imprisons Satan; who has been allowed to have his way on Earth as “the god of this world”, and the prince of the power of the air (1John 5:19; John 14:30 & 2Cor. 4:4), who developed Mystery Babylon: to ensnare as many of Earth’s population as possible!
In Revelation 3:18, the people of the Church (Ecclesia) of Laodicea are urged to “buy” the gold refined in the fire of Christ Jesus, and not as indicated in the previous verse 17 that of the gold of Babylon!
In this present Age, all people who are willing may receive the free gift of the true gold; which is Christ Jesus’s free gift of “Salvation”; which He obtained for all people of goodwill on the Cross of Calvary; as the substitutional sin offering to the Father; which completes the elements shown in Dan. 9:24, except for the yet to be final 7 years to the end of Dan. 9.
The significance of the “Prophetic Area”; is clearly to focus the minds and hearts of people of goodwill on that area and the world, who are expecting to see some of the events described in Scripture, particularly in the area of ancient Babylon, as that is promised to Israel from Almighty God; and He never breaks His promises (Exod. 23:31).
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