America Series Part 5 – Daniel’s Seventieth Week

Posted: August 23, 2014 in America, End Times, Prophecy, Shared Thoughts, Study!, Uncategorized
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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. (Daniel 9:27)

This is the only “seven year” scriptural reference I know of that is used foundationally for the complete duration of the “seven year tribulation” with the perceived division being “in the midst of the week” when, according  to popular understanding of the doctrine, the antichrist does away with the animal sacrifices that were reinstated in a rebuilt temple.  There are however, many scriptural references to “seven years” –

  1. The two periods of seven years which Jacob labored for Rachael and was given Leah instead, then the next seven years for which he indeed received Rachael.
  2. The seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine with Joseph in Egypt.
  3. The seven years of famine under David and Samuel.
  4. The seven years of famine with Elisha.
  5. The seven years of burning weapons after the war with Gog and Magog, (which if there is a seven-year tribulation immediately before the return of Christ, this war needs to take place before it then.)

Since seven years divided by two equals three and a half years, it must be acknowledged that there are also several three and a half year periods in scriptures referred to as “time, times, and half of time,” or periods of 1260 days, 1290 days, and 1335 days. With all these segments of time recorded in scripture, it is not surprising there has always existed a curiosity as to what these times meant and when would they occur. However, it is astounding the extreme lengths some have labored to prove they know the dates of these times and when they will occur, when scripture clearly states the revelation for some of them are sealed until the end.

I am personally persuaded that to assume these three and a half year periods mentioned must be referencing to either the beginning or end of the tribulation period,  would be as imprudent as believing all the previously mentioned seven-year periods were the same. Clearly a simple reading of them all brings a quick dismissal of such nonsense. Therefore caution must be taken when asserting things from scriptures, for history shows it isn’t hard to earn the title of “false” teacher or prophet.

However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t consider such texts in light of history and prayerfully seek understanding through the Holy Spirit’s illumination. We must be students of God’s word, for perhaps the greatest reward of persistent prayer and seeking to prove all things, will be the avoidance of being carried away by the flood of false doctrines that the Holy Spirit warned would be promoted abundantly by demons through arrogant men thinking themselves to be something they are not.

True understanding is given by direct commandment of God who tries the hearts of men. It is never the product of clever men being able to calculate their way through hidden codes in scripture; Harold Camping’s date setting errors should be a sufficient warning to any aspiring date setter. But that doesn’t mean we cannot know the times in which we are living.

John 8:31-32 Then Jesus said to the Jews who believed on Him, If you continue in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank You, O Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the sophisticated and cunning, and revealed them to babes.

Matthew 13:11-12 He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but it is not given to them.  For whoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance. But whoever does not have, from him shall be taken away even that which he has.

Matthew 16:17 Jesus answered and said to him, You are blessed, Simon, son of Jonah, for flesh and blood did not reveal it to you, but My Father in Heaven.

1st Corinthians 2:10-14 But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God. For who among men knows the things of a man except the spirit of man within him? So also no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. But we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit from God, so that we might know the things that are freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

I must re-emphasize that it was a consequence of Daniel’s supplications that the angel Gabriel was sent forth at the beginning, when Daniel humbled himself with fasting and was confessing both his sins and the sins of Israel. This fact establishes an unbreakable connection between the “matter . . . and the vision,” that Gabriel was sent by God due to Daniel’s prayers for his people in captivity and to “give” Daniel understanding of things to come.

To help keep this seventieth week in proper context, let’s look again from the beginning of the chapter –

Daniel 9:1-3 In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans, in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood the number of the years by books, which came of the word of the LORD to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. And I set my face toward the Lord God, to seek by prayer and holy desires, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.

That is one of my favorite passages, for the simple reason Daniel states he “understood” the duration of the Jewish Babylonian captivity was coming to an end “by the books” of Jeremiah the prophet. This shows that some things are not hidden, and there to both bless and establish accountability on all who read or hear it.

Jeremiah 25:11-12 And this whole land shall be a ruin and a waste. And these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall be, when seventy years are fulfilled I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, and the land of the Chaldeans, says the LORD, for their iniquity, and I will make it an everlasting ruins.

Jeremiah 29:10-13 For so says the LORD, When according to My word seventy years have been fulfilled for Babylon, I will visit you and confirm My good word to you, to bring you back to this place.  For I know the purposes which I am purposing for you, says the LORD; purposes of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you shall call on Me, and you shall go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you shall seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Knowing the 70 years was about to conclude, Daniel humbly “set” his “face unto the Lord God, to seek God’s grace and mercy for the sins of Israel that they may find His favor restored unto them. If only believers in America would so seek God’s face like Daniel did, using every means of humbling and petitioning for God’s mercies through “prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes.” But it seems American Christian’s have forgotten Jesus’ words, “Blessed are they that mourn?”

Now-a-days too many churches have taken the shame out of sin by presenting the amazing grace of God as something so cheap and conveniently affordable like a common commodity readily available on the shelf of a nearby convenience store, leaving some professors of Christ’s name carelessly committing sin the same way the government spends money, never worrying about the consequences because they think they have an endless supply of “grace.” Or have we forgotten that “grace is sufficient,” a phrase which promises it is adequate while at the same time warns it can be both frustrated and exhausted? What else can this lawless behavior be but the “turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying our only Master, God, and Lord, Jesus Christ?”

What is amazing in light of his conviction of both Israel’s and his sin is Daniel’s strong faith, and how evident it is in his prayer to God –

Daniel 9:10-13 We have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His laws which He set before us by His servants the prophets. Yea, all Israel has transgressed Your law, and turned aside, that they might not obey Your voice. Therefore the curse has been poured out on us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against Him. And He has confirmed His words which He spoke against us and against our judges who judged us, by bringing on us a great evil. For under all the heavens it has not been done as it has been done to Jerusalem. As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil has come on us. Yet we did not make our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand Your truth.

There are two parts in Daniel’s prayer that Gods people need to both recognize and embrace. First, the prayer is evidence he fully believed God had proven the certainty of His words through His judging Israel according to what was written by Moses. Second, having witnessed the certainty of God’s word, Daniel humbles himself with “prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes” to properly come before God to recount before Him the purposes of His judgments, “that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand Thy truth.

Daniel 9:18-19 O my God, bow down Your ear and hear. Open Your eyes and behold our ruins, and the city which is called by Your name. For we do not present our prayers before You on account of our righteousnesses, but because of Your great mercies. O LORD, hear; O LORD, forgive; O LORD, listen and do. Do not delay, for Your own sake, O my God; for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.

It is clear Daniel’s faith was pleasing unto God; a faith that came through an open heart as he read the word of the Lord, praying over Jeremiah’s prophecies. Humbled by God’s righteous judgments, Daniel earnestly sought the Lord for further understanding of the future events concerning his people, never ceasing to plead with God concerning their fate. Therefore God sent Gabriel to reveal unto Daniel the future events which were sure to unfold –

Daniel 9:20-23 And while I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin, and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my cry before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God; yes, while I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, touched me in my severe exhaustion, about the time of the evening sacrifice. And he enlightened me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I have now come out to give you skill and understanding. At the beginning of your prayers the commandment came out, and I have come to explain. For you are greatly beloved; therefore understand the matter, and attend to the vision.

Notice that Daniel states that Gabriel “touched me in my severe exhaustion about the time of the evening sacrifice.” Here was Daniel, a righteous man praying earnestly, refusing to give way to his own exhausted flesh. From the text it cannot be determine whether it was due to the intensity of Daniel’s concentration in prayer or if he had literally succumbed to exhaustion and near passed out before the Lord, or whether Gabriel touched him to gain his attention from his supplications or to give unto him strength so that he could now hear the word the Lord sent unto Him. Regardless, it is apparent this was a man that gave himself entirely to seeking God, utilizing all the means God had established for all men to seek Him; i.e. humility, humbling one’s self with fasting, sackcloth and ashes, and prayer without ceasing.

How sad Christians called by His name are so easily wearied in prayer. Many unwittingly themselves dishonor the grace of God given to enable them to seek the Lord while He may be found. No longer do Christians sit in sackcloth and ashes, humbling themselves and repenting for their sins or the sins of their country. Rarely do you hear Christians anymore confessing their sins one to another and praying to be healed of the bitterness and pride and unforgiveness they have hidden for years deep in their hearts. Yet they walk and talk Christianese, clinging to in vain to a false confidence that somehow God still hears their prayers and forgive them.

These are not true “believers,” but rather unbelievers who have refused to utilize the means whereby men are called to seek God and constantly cast His words behind them while in vain they offer their gifts upon the alter of God knowing their hearts are not right with their brothers. These are they who are so easily wearied in prayer that the very thought of it can exhaust them; let alone giving themselves to prolong fasting. May we never fail to distinguish the difference between the atheistic non-believer and the religious unbelievers lest we slip into the latter’s camp.

Brothers and sisters, why do you think Abraham thought he could appeal to God to spare Sodom and Gomorrah if there were fifty righteous men in the cities? Most people tend to think it was just “righteous Lot” who was living there vexing his soul among all those vulgarly wicked and profane sodomites. But do you really think Lot would live there alone if there were no other professing “believers” living there? When Ezekiel was sent to reprove Israel, God declared that, “As I live says the Lord Jehovah, Sodom your sister, she nor her daughters has not done as you have done, you and your daughters.” Do you think that there were no professing believers in Ezekiel’s days?

No, there were religious people all over the land, boasting in their arrogance to be God’s chosen people, prophets and priests and faithful followers of Jehovah, the called out ones, or so they thought. They were as surprise as will be so many when they too cry out “Lord! Lord! Did we not prophesy in Your name, and through Your name cast out demons, and through Your name do many wonderful works?” Only to hear the Lord reply, “I never knew you! Depart from Me, you who live working lawlessness!”

No, righteous Lot was alone only in his righteousness, but there were many there claiming to be the believers in the living God. Therefore Abraham asked God, “Perhaps there are fifty righteous within the city. Will You also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are in it?” and yet the longer Abraham thought about the “believers” dwelling in Sodom and the surrounding cities, he began to go lower and lower in asking God till he said “Oh do not let the LORD be angry, and I will speak only once more. Perhaps ten shall be found there?” And the Lord replied, “I will not destroy it for ten’s sake.”

Seriously consider this, you who so confidently profess to be serving God, for out of Abraham’s appeal to God to spare the cities for fifty righteous, only one was led out. That was a speculated “fifty,” out of how many though that was professing faith? Abraham knew they were not all serving God, that many had deceived their own selves into thinking they were righteous, so fifty had to be a conservative number to start with. Then, knowing the holiness of God, Abraham began to whittle the numbers down till he reached ten, only a mere ten and God still said He would have spared the cities. And yet it was only righteous Lot who came out from among them, with his wife looking back perishing. Do you understand the math concerning this? Only 2% of Abraham’s original conservative number was saved. How is it men don’t fear God?

However, back to Daniel, it is evident that the angel was there to give him a clear understanding of this vision. Still, there are other visions given to Daniel, which when he sought understanding he was told, “Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” But that is not the case here. This time the angel is there to explain these specific things to Daniel, things specifically concerning the Jewish nation, Jerusalem, the temple and the Messiah. In verse 24, the angel clarifies what Daniels vision is all about . . . and the duration of time to be given to it.

Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are decreed as to your people and as to your holy city, to finish the transgression and to make an end of sins, and to make atonement for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.

Again for convenience, here are the seven specific things the angel Gabriel was there to give Daniel an “understanding” of the vision regarding –

  1. It was a period of time(a) regarding Daniel’s people and the holy city(b)
    1. Seventy weeks
    2. Jerusalem
  2. It was to “finish the transgression”
  3. It was to “make an end of sins”
  4. It was to “make reconciliation for iniquity”
  5. It was to “bring in everlasting righteousness”
  6. It was to “seal up the vision and the prophesy”
  7. It was to “to anoint the most Holy”

The first thing is the time element; “Seventy weeks are determined . . .” These “seventy weeks” represent a total duration of 490 years. The most difficult part of this vision for many seems to be how to determine the exact starting time, and there are no shortages of perspectives out there.

Knowing the present seventy years of captivity was ending, Daniel was earnestly seeking God concerning the matter when the angel comes and tells him of another captivity and when it would be over as well; the captivity of sin. Gabriel shows him that similar to the “seventy years,” that God has determined “seventy weeks” would be relative to this captivity of sin, its solution and Redeemer, Messiah the Prince. However, these 70 weeks are weeks of years, representing a total of 490 years, much like Jesus’ encouragement to forgive, seven times seventy.

Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Him and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Until seven times?  Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven.

The starting of the 490 years is said to have begun with the going forth of the commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem. Apart from the fact that most commentators recognize Daniel’s weeks as each representing a seven-year period, further biblical confirmation is seen in God’s commandment to give the land a Sabbath every seventh year.

Leviticus 25:2-4,8 Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, When you come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a Sabbath to the LORD. You shall sow your field six years, and you shall prune your vineyard six years, and gather in the fruit of it. But in the seventh year shall be a Sabbath of rest to the land, a Sabbath for the LORD. You shall neither sow your field, nor prune your vineyard. And you shall number seven Sabbaths of years to you, seven times seven years. And the time of the seven Sabbaths of years shall be forty-nine years to you.

The 490 years appears to be divided into three segments of time, two of which are mention there in verse 25. The first is a 7 week period representing a period of 49 years. During these 49 years “the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times” in Jerusalem. The second is a 62 week period representing a period of 434 years which concludes with the coming of “Messiah the Prince.” The total time here is 483 years.

Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going out of the command to restore and to build Jerusalem, to Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and sixty-two weeks. The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in times of affliction.

While it may be difficult for men to agree on when the commencement of these periods begin, “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem,” the angel Gabriel tells specifically what event concludes at their end, “unto the Messiah the Prince.” This clearly means that the coming of the Messiah would be 483 years after the commandment was issued. Jesus gives us the best indication of the time’s conclusion –

Mark 1:14 And after John was delivered up, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God draws near. Repent, and believe the gospel.

If this time which Jesus stated was fulfilled is not the time mentioned by Gabriel to Daniel, then students of the word are obligated to affix another prophetic time to Jesus words, of which no other do I know of. Consider also these other verses by the Apostle Paul –

Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, coming into being out of a woman, having come under Law, that He might redeem those under Law, so that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Ephesians 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him.

There were students of God’s word at the time of Christ’s birth who, like Daniel, knew the meaning and purpose of these verses and were therefore in anticipation of their fulfillment during the days of Jesus’ birth.

Luke 2:25-38 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. And this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him. And it happened to him, being instructed by the Holy Spirit, he was not to see death before he would see the Christ of the Lord. And he came by the Spirit into the temple. And as the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do according to the custom of the law concerning Him, even he received Him in his arms and blessed God, and said, Lord, now You will let Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word. For my eyes have seen Your Salvation which You have prepared before the face of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the nations, and the glory of Your people Israel. And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken by him. And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, Behold, this One is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign spoken against, (yea, a sword shall pierce through your own soul also), so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in many days, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity. And she was a widow of eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, serving God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in at that instant gave thanks to the Lord and spoke of Him to all those in Jerusalem eagerly expecting redemption.

Certainly the scriptural justification for these people to be looking for the redemption of Israel in their days was because, just like Daniel who “understood by the books,” they also understood the time in which they were privileged to live because of the recorded 70 weeks concerning Daniel’s vision. They knew the 483 years till the coming of Messiah was not far off and were eagerly looking for Him.

However, perhaps the greatest proof of Jesus’ ministry being the fulfillment of Daniel’s 69 weeks comes from His admonition of the people of Israel.

Luke 19:41-44 And as He drew near, He beheld the city and wept over it, saying, If you had known, even you, even at least in this day of yours, the things for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come on you that your enemies will raise up a rampart to you, and will surround you, and will keep you in on every side. And they will tear you down, and your children within you, and will not leave a stone on a stone because you did not know the time of your visitation.

Now, in Daniel 9:24 there are six specific events mentioned which would be the consequences of the incarnation of our Lord –

1. To finish the transgression. “Finish” signifying bringing in an effective restraint for sin, that it should not have dominion over the people of God anymore. This was brought into effect by the preaching of the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation, and pouring out of the Holy Ghost among men.

 Romans 6:11-14 Likewise count yourselves also to be truly dead to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. Do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but yield yourselves to God, as one alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under Law, but under grace.

2. To make an end of sins <Hebrew word, chatta’ah>. This does not mean an end to sin itself, rather “to make an end of sin-offerings.” This our Lord Jesus did when He offered his spotless soul and body on the cross, once and for all, as a sin offering sacrifice unto God. Thereby causing the validity of the sacrifices to end with his self-sacrifice upon the cross.

<chatta’ah> – an offence (sometimes habitual sinfulness), and its penalty, occasion, sacrifice, or expiation; also (concretely) an offender:–punishment (of sin), purifying (-fication for sin), sin(-ner, offering).

A few examples of where the same Hebrew word in 9:24 translated “sin” was translated “sin offering” (Translated such 199 times in O.T.) –

Exodus 29:14 But the flesh of the bull, and its skin, and its dung, you shall burn with fire outside the camp. It is a sin offering, <chatta’ah>.

Exodus 29:36 And you shall offer every day a bull, a sin offering, <chatta’ah> for atonement. And you shall cleanse the altar when you have made an atonement for it, and you shall anoint it to sanctify it.

Exodus 30:10 And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offerings , <chatta’ah> of atonement. He shall make atonement on it once in the year throughout your generations. It is most holy to the LORD.

Leviticus 4:3 If the priest who is anointed sins, resulting in guilt to the people, then he shall bring for his sin, which he has sinned, a young bull, a son of the herd, a perfect one, to the LORD for a sin offering.<chatta’ah>.

Leviticus 4:8 And he shall lift up from it all the fat of the young bull for the sin offering, <chatta’ah>; the fat that covers the inward parts, and all the fat on the inward parts

Leviticus 4:20-21, 24-25, 29-32 And he shall do with the young bull as he did with the young bull for a sin offering, <chatta’ah> so shall he do to it. And the priest shall make an atonement for them, and it shall be forgiven them. And he shall carry forth the young bull outside the camp, and burn it as he burned the first bull. It is a sin offering, <chatta’ah> for the congregation. And he shall lay his hand on the head of the goat and kill it in the place where he kills the burnt offering before the LORD. It is a sin offering, <chatta’ah>.  And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out its blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering. . And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering <chatta’ah>, and slay the sin offering , <chatta’ah> in the place of the burnt offering. And if he bring a lamb for a sin offering, <chatta’ah> he shall bring it a female without blemish.

3. To make reconciliation, or “to make atonement” for iniquity; which Jesus did once and for all, by the offering up of Himself upon the cross. Therefore the sacrifices, or sin offerings <chatta’ah> had become totally unnecessary, and to offer them would be to prophetically “sacrifice Christ afresh.”

It is very important to understand Gabriel was speaking of an event which would bring an end of the ceremonial sin-offerings defined under the law, and not an end to the commission of sin itself by humanity. For some having misunderstood and failing to make this distinction have made two grave errors thereby. One, they say this prophecy cannot be fulfilled until men no longer sin, and two they misinterpret the Apostle Paul’s words written to the believers in Corinth –

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He has made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Jesus never became sin, rather the sin-offering “for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Consider Young’s translation of Isaiah below –

Isaiah 53:4 Surely our sicknesses he hath borne, And our pains–he hath carried them, And we–we have esteemed him plagued, Smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 And he is pierced for our transgressions, Bruised for our iniquities, The chastisement of our peace is on him, And by his bruise there is healing to us. 6 All of us like sheep have wandered, Each to his own way we have turned, And Jehovah hath caused to meet on him, The punishment of us all.

No, Jesus never became sin, He never was anything but a “a lamb without spot or blemish.” For even under the Law, the sins were imparted to the scape goat, not the sacrificial lamb.

4. To bring in everlasting righteousness, that is, “the righteousness, or righteous ONE, of ages.” That person who had been the object of the faith of mankind, and the subject of the predictions of the prophets through all the ages of the world, beginning with the promise God made to Eve that she ultimately would bring forth “seed” that would avenge her and bruise the head of the serpent.

5. To seal up, or “finish or complete” the vision and prophecy. That is, to put an end to the necessity of any further revelations, by completing the canon of Scriptures then given by Jesus fulfilling the prophecies which related to His person, sacrifice, and the glory that should follow.

6. And to anoint the Most Holy, which signifies the consecration or appointment of our blessed Lord, the Holy One of Israel, to be the Prophet, Priest, and King of mankind.

Again, Daniel’s seventy weeks, or 490 years, are divided into three distinct periods, to each of which particular events are assigned.

Seven weeks, that is, 49 years.

Sixty-two weeks, that is, 434 years

One week, that is, 7 years

The first seven weeks period was for the restoration and repairing of the wall and streets of Jerusalem, where we see Ezra and Nehemiah also employed in restoring both the sacred constitutions and civil establishments of the Jews. This work lasted forty-nine years after the commission was given by Artaxerxes.  Including the second period of 62 weeks brings us to 434 years, at the end of which the prophecy says “Messiah the Prince” would come. The conclusion of both these periods must take in the ministry of John the Baptist for Jesus our Lord says, “The law was until John.”

Matthew 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

Many feel this means “the prophets and the law” were only up until John, but not including John. However, the Greek word <heos> is the same word used in the genealogies of Matthew 1:17 “So all the generations from Abraham to <heos> David are fourteen generations; and from David until <heos> the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto <heos> Christ are fourteen generations.” It is evident that the first period “from Abraham to <heos> David” is defined by the inclusion of David. Therefore it is not appropriate to exclude John the Baptist from “all the prophets and the law” which were to “prophesied until” <heos> the coming of our Lord . . . which begins the third period, or the seventieth week of Daniel. It is during this time that someone would “confirm the covenant with many for one week.”

It is this seventieth week of Daniel which has become known as “the great tribulation” or simply “The Tribulation.” Yet nowhere has the angel Gabriel mentioned any such thing taking place. However, Gabriel does mention an “overspreading of abomination” and the destruction of the temple.

Daniel 9:26-27 And after sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. And the end of it shall be with the flood, and ruins are determined, until the end shall be war. 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.

This is where the “7 year tribulation” theology takes off with the antichrist interpretation, with people interpreting the “prince” as the antichrist which “shall come [and] shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” They say that he, the antichrist, will make a treaty with the Jews resulting in a peaceful solution to the Middle East crisis. However, sometime during or before all this the Temple is expected to be rebuilt and depending on whom you asked, either the Jews or the antichrist will then re-institute animal sacrifices in the temple. Then according to common seven-year tribulation theology the antichrist will “in the midst of the week,” or after three and a half years, break his covenant with the Jews and “cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,” thus issuing in the later three and a half years and the worst part of “The Seven Year Tribulation.”

However, as it should be clear to all reading, I do not embrace that interpretation as the truth, for Gabriel clearly states the “vision” is about the Jewish people, Israel, Jerusalem and their Messiah Jesus Christ; God manifested in the flesh.

My conviction is that this last seven-year period, or the “seventieth week of Daniel,” is the period of time in which God tabernacles with men as the man Jesus Christ, to “confirm the covenant with many.” Still, it is evident this seventieth week is divided by a specific event  –

“. . . and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease . . .”

What divides the 70th week is the event that causes “the sacrifice and the oblation” to cease. But how? By the antichrist breaking the alleged covenant to be made with the Jews? Or by Jesus’ resurrection affirming the surety and power of Gods covenant to them?

Remember the angel said six distinct things would be accomplished within the 70 weeks, listed again below are numbers 2 and 3 previously mentioned above.

  1. To make an end of sins <chatta’ah>. Again, this does not mean an end to sin itself, rather “to make an end of sin-offerings.” This is what our Lord Jesus did when He offered his spotless soul and body on the cross once for all as a sin offering unto God, causing the validity of those sacrifices to end by His death upon the cross.
  2. To make reconciliation, or “to make atonement” for iniquity; which Jesus did by the once offering up of Himself upon the cross. Therefore sacrifices were totally unnecessary, and to offer one would be to “sacrifice Christ afresh.”

For the Jews to reject the true sacrifice of the Lamb of God, and hold to animal sacrifices instead, would be an insult in the eyes of God. Yet that is exactly what happened. By the Jews continuing to offer animal sacrifices, what was once a lawful prophetic mandate became an “overspreading of abominations.” For rejecting Jesus Christ and continuing in what was now “dead works” and empty rituals, they were prophetically now “crucifying Christ afresh.

Hebrews 9:13-14 For if the blood of bulls and of goats and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh,  how much more shall the blood of Christ (who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished and spotless unto God) purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Hebrews 10:4-10 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Therefore when He comes into the world, He says, “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but You have prepared a body for Me. In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have had no pleasure. Then I said, Lo, I come (in the volume of the Book it is written of Me) to do Your will, O God.”  Above, when He said, “Sacrifice and offering, and burnt offerings and offering for sin You did not desire, neither did You have pleasure in them” (which are offered by the Law), then He said, “Lo, I come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first so that He may establish the second. By this will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all, (see Hebrews chapters 9 & 10).

Thus, that which was once commanded by God to be holy prophetic action to proclaim that which was planned from the foundation of the world, the death and passion of our blessed Lord and Savior, became a condemning testimony of the Jews rejection of God’s provision for their reconciliation. For by their continuing in the previously required ceremonial animal sacrifices under the Old Covenant of the Mosaic Law, these very offerings had now become the foretold “overspreading of abominations” for which “He,” that is God, “shall make it [the Temple] desolate, even until the consummation [the end] and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate”

What does all that mean? Remember the words of Jesus?

Matthew 23:36-39 Truly I say to you, All these things shall come on this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to her, how often would I have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is left to you desolate. For I say to you, You shall not see Me from now on until you say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

Matthew 24:2 And Jesus said to them, Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to you, There shall not be left here one stone on another that shall not be thrown down.

 (For saving of time and space and avoid being “prohibitively long” here I would refer you to my “Matthew 24” article for the possible fulfillment of these words.)

However, if these things are possibly true, then there is more to Daniel 9:27, which would be profitable to reason further. Such as (1) what is the covenant Jesus was confirming? And (2) how did He confirm it? And if the seventieth week is for “confirming the covenant” for the duration of 7 years was divided by His death which caused the lawful obligation for the sacrifices and oblations to cease being offered, being no longer acceptable to God, then lastly (3) what about the remaining three and a half years?

Let me submit some possible answers to these questions for your prayerful consideration.

First, what is the covenant of God that Jesus was confirming, both to Israel and to the entire world? It is the promise of certainty, of which righteous Job wrote the following –

Job 19:25-27 For I know that my Redeemer He lives, and He shall rise on the earth at the last; and even after they corrupt my skin, yet this: in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not a stranger’s; though My heart be exhausted in my bosom.

The covenant is the promise of the resurrection. Not just Jesus’ resurrection, but ours as well. Jesus confirmed the truth of the resurrection to His disciples –

Matthew 5: 8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

John 5:24-29 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes on Him who sent Me has everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation, but has passed from death to life. Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they who hear shall live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has given to the Son to have life within Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man. Do not marvel at this, for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have practiced evil to the resurrection of condemnation.

John 6:39-49 And this is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all which He has given Me I should lose nothing but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes on Him should have everlasting life. And I will raise him up at the last day.

John 11: 23-26 Jesus said to her, Your brother shall rise again. Martha said to Him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said to her, I am the Resurrection and the Life! He who believes in Me, though he die, yet he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?

John 14: 19-20 Yet a little while and the world does not see Me any more. But you see Me. Because I live, you shall live also. At that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

Here are also some Old Testament verses which proclaimed the covenant / promise from which Jesus would have preached and confirmed by His resurrection

Isaiah 25:8 He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord Jehovah will wipe away tears from all faces. And He shall take away from all the earth the rebuke of His people. For the LORD has spoken.

Isaiah 26:19 Your dead ones shall live, together with my dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust; for your dew is as the dew of lights, and the earth shall cast out the dead.

Ezekiel 37:12 Therefore prophesy and say to them, So says the Lord Jehovah: Behold, O My people, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, and will bring you into the land of Israel.

Hosea 13: 14 I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O Death, where are your plagues; O Grave, where is your ruin! Repentance shall be hidden from My eyes.

Job 14:12-15 So man lies down and does not rise. Till the heavens are no more, they shall not awake, nor be awakened out of their sleep. Who will grant that You would hide me in the grave, that You would keep me secret, until Your wrath is past, that You would set me a fixed time and remember me? If a man die, shall he revive? All the days of my warfare I will wait, until my change comes. You shall call, and I will answer You; You shall have a desire to the work of Your hands.

Psalm 16:9-11 Therefore My heart is glad, and My glory rejoices; My flesh also shall rest in hope; For You will not leave My soul in hell; You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption. You will make Me know the way of life; in Your presence is fullness of joys. At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 17:15 As for me, I will behold Your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with Your image.

In light of all these scriptures from which Paul would have preached, it is easy to see why he would have continued proclaiming the confirmation of the covenant while declaring the certainty of the Gospel.

Romans 6:5-8 For if we have been joined together in the likeness of His death, we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection; knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed, that from now on we should not serve sin. For he who died has been justified from sin. But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.

1st Corinthians 6:14 And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by His own power.

1st Corinthians 13:12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall fully know even as I also am fully known.

1st Corinthians 15:12-23 But if Christ is proclaimed, that He was raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither has Christ been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is worthless, and your faith is also worthless. And we are also found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified of God that He raised Christ; whom He did not raise, if the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ is not raised. And if Christ is not raised, your faith is foolish; you are yet in your sins. Then also those that fell asleep in Christ were lost. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now Christ has risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruit of those who slept. For since death is through man, the resurrection of the dead also is through a Man. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first-fruit, and afterward they who are Christ’s at His coming;

2nd Corinthians 4:13-14 For we, having the same spirit of faith (according as it is written, “I believed, and therefore I have spoken”); we also believed and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus shall also raise us up by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

2nd Corinthians 5:1-9 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our dwelling-place out of Heaven; if indeed in being clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tabernacle groan, being burdened; inasmuch as we do not wish to be unclothed, but to be clothed, so that the mortal might be swallowed up by the life. And He who has worked in us for this same thing is God, who also is giving to us the earnest of the Spirit. Then being always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body, we are away from home with the Lord; for we walk by faith, not by sight; then we are confident and we are pleased rather to go away from home out of the body, and to come home to the Lord. Therefore we are also laboring to be well-pleasing to Him, whether at home or away from home.

Philippians 3:10-12 That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death; if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, but I am pressing on, if I may lay hold of that for which I also was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.

The Apostle John was not silent, for he too confirmed the certainty of God’s covenant –

1st John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be. But we know that when He shall be revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

Now, exactly how did Jesus confirm the covenanted promise of a resurrection? He confirmed the covenant with His own bodily resurrection. He proved He had the power to not only raise Himself from the dead, but others as well.

Matthew 27:52-53 And the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep arose, and coming out of the tomb after His resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

John 20:25-28 The other disciples therefore said to him, We have seen the Lord. But he said to them, Unless I shall see the print of the nails in His hands, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe. And after eight days the disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst and said, Peace to you! Then He said to Thomas, Reach your finger here and behold My hands; and reach your hand here and thrust it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing. And Thomas answered and said to Him, My Lord and my God!

Romans 1:4  And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

Now if Jesus “confirmed the covenant” to the Jews, both by His preaching and ultimately His bodily resurrection, just where are the remaining three and a half years of the 70th week whereby “He shall confirm the covenant with many?”

I have come to believe that the final three and a half years will be fulfilled by the ministry of the two witnesses in Jerusalem ministering to the Jewish people in the last days as mentioned in Revelation chapter 11. These two witnesses will be again confirming the covenant of God to the descendants of Abraham testifying that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah the Prince. “And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them,” meaning, that just as the devil as stirred up wicked men all throughout the history of humanity to murder the righteous, these two will be killed and left unburied in an attempt to finally discredit the “myth” of Christianity.

Revelation 11:3, 7-12 And I will give power to My two witnesses, and they will prophesy a thousand, two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth. And when they complete their testimony, the beast coming up out of the abyss will make war against them and will overcome them and kill them. And their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And many of the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will see their dead bodies three days and a half, and they will not allow their dead bodies to be put in tombs. And the ones who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, and will make merry, and will send one another gifts, because these two prophets tormented those living on the earth. And after three days and a half, a spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood on their feet. And great fear fell on those seeing them. And they heard a great voice from Heaven saying to them, Come up here. And they went up to Heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them.

Now some might ask, “How can these two witnesses be the fulfilling of Jesus’ confirming the covenant? Doesn’t Jesus himself need to be the one preaching if He is to be the one confirming?” My answer would be an absolute yes. But for clarity I will direct you to a few verses –

Hebrew 1:1-3  God, who at sundry times and in divers manner spoke in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken unto us by His Son . . . the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person.” 

Note the words in bold type, “God, spoke, by the prophets, by His Son.” Let’s continue.

2nd Peter 1:21 “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” 

Here we see “God” who “spoke, by the prophets” in Hebrews 1:1-2, is here speaking by “holy men of God as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” Notice it is the same God, same prophets and the same Spirit.  Again, let’s continue;

1st Peter 1:11,12 “. . . Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify . . . which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.” 

The “prophets” through which “God . . . spoke” as they “were moved by the Holy Ghost” spoke what “the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify.” Peter continues to say that the preaching of this good news continues to come by the unction of the “Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.”

2nd Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord [Jesus] is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. 

These two witnesses will know exactly who they are, and by “the Spirit of Christ which is in them,” they too will testify in their last days that they are going to be martyred. However, just like Jesus, they will be raised from the dead. Though their testimony will infuriate many of the Jewish people, a remnant will listen and watch, for they will be pierced in their hearts and convicted by the Sword of Truth. This remnant will be the ones who will give glory unto God after the resurrection of these two witnesses confirms the covenant of God to the whole world.

Revelation 11:12-13 And they heard a great voice from Heaven saying to them, Come up here. And they went up to Heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them. And in that hour a great earthquake occurred, and the tenth part of the city fell. And seven thousand names of men were slain in the earthquake. And the rest were frightened and gave glory to the God of Heaven.

The only way the Jews can give glory unto God is to honor the Son even as they honor the Father. Thus this remnant gives glory unto the Son as their Redeemer. This will be the in-grafting back into the vine of the Jews, resulting in the completion of the Vision of Daniel by ushering in the fulfillment of the covenant, the resurrection of the dead.

Romans 11:15 For if their casting away is the reconciling of the world, what is the reception except life from the dead?

Luke 13:35 Behold, your house is left to you desolate. And truly I say to you, You will not see Me until it come when you say, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.

Lastly, one more reason why I believe that Daniel’s 9:27 reference to “in the midst of the week” is referring to Jesus causing “the sacrifice and oblations to cease,” is because staying true to this verse, Jesus was crucified and therefore died in the midst, or middle of the week, on a Wednesday. For more clarification please see my “Trips to the Tomb” article.

Excerpt from article –

. . . in Mark’s account we see that Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where and how the body of Jesus was buried (Mark 5:47). Then, “when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome” purchased sweet spices that when they came to the tomb they might anoint the body of Jesus for a proper burial because His body was prepared and buried in haste “before” sunset prior to a High Sabbath. This is a point that most fail to discern, that the week of Jesus’ crucifixion there were actually two Sabbaths. This “Sabbath” mentioned by Mark is not the seventh day weekly Sabbath, or Saturday, mention earlier in Matthew’s account. This “Sabbath” was day one of seven consecutive days of observance of the Feast of the Unleaven Bread, a “high holy day” and was therefore observed as a Sabbath since no servile work was to be done, see John 19:31.

. . . that Passover was on a Wednesday, which would have been the fourteenth day of the first month, (Lev 23:2). Then the Fifteenth day would have been Thursday, day one the Feast of the Unleaven Bread, declared by God to be a holy convocation and a High Sabbath. Therefore after the fifteenth day “was past” Friday came, they went out and “bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him” (Mark 16:1) and then, “prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the [fourth] commandment,” (Luke 23:56).

Summary

If these things have plausible credibility, then the whole seven-year tribulation message that has been taught and widely promoted by such fables as the “Left Behind” series, then we as believers must be diligent in our seeking to rightly discern the times and the seasons in which we are living and to pray that we may be found worthy to escape the wrath to come.

For those interested, I have posted all the New Testament verses on “tribulation” in my post, “But before all these, they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you.”

Therefore we should give earnest heed to the words of our Savior and His apostle –

Luke 21:34-36 And take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts are weighed down with headaches and drinking and anxieties of this life; and that day should suddenly come on you; for it shall come as a snare on all those sitting on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, praying in every season that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things which shall occur, and to stand before the Son of man.

2nd Thessalonians 1:5-12 For this is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God for which you also suffer, since it is a righteous thing with God to repay tribulation to those who trouble you, and to give rest with us to you who are troubled, at the revealing of the Lord Jesus from Heaven with the angels of His power, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God and who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He shall come to be glorified in His saints and to be admired in all those who believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that Day. Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

To download article’s MP3 file:  1. Click on this link  2. Right click on page  3. Select “save as”

Please feel free to comment or ask questions.

Peace.

Comments
  1. Donna Schmitz says:

    William,  I have obtained a copy of the 3 Days And 3 Nights booklet by Harry Miller.  We are affiliated with his group in McMinnville, TN.  We have just returned from a visit with their current Pastor and was discussing your blog on Trips to the Tomb/Good Friday and that you had been trying to obtain one of these booklets.  Brother Al sent me home with a bundle of booklets from Harry Miller. We have heard such amazing stories of Brother Millers walk with the Lord before his passing.   Please forward your mailing address and I would be more than happy to mail these out to you.  What a mighty God we serve as he brings us into contact with His body in amazing ways.  Your posts are very encouraging and line up with much of what the Holy Spirit has placed in our hearts as well.  In Christ,  Donna Schmitz

    ________________________________

    Like

    • William E. Males says:

      Hello Donna,

      Thanks for your gracious words on my blog. I actually have several other friends who have made contact with the People of the Living God Ministry and have already delivered material to me, but I greatly appreciate your offer. Please feel free to distribute their material to someone else. I have been to their webpage and looked through it a few times and if opportunity arises I would love to make it there for a visit myself. I have a close friend who has been their several times and has been invited to move there, but he isn’t sure that is the Lord’s will and is still praying for direction.

      I do however greatly appreciate your encouragement, as my blog is relatively a low traffic site and I am using it mostly to reach out to friends and to have a place to record my own writings for my family. Not all have given their lives over to our King and therefore I hope one day it will become a place to research the faith of their father if the Lord call’s me home before He returns for His Bride . . . not that I am planning on going anywhere anytime soon lol.

      Stay blessable,

      William

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