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Inheriting the Kingdom
An Introduction to the New Wine System

 

The Gospel (Good News) of the Kingdom   (more)

Believe in Jesus and you will inherit eternal life.  But look at the context of John 3:16 for a true understanding of the Gospel.  John 3:14-15, says: "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life."  The people of Old Testament Israel were told to look upon the serpent to be healed of sickness and disease.  But Christ was lifted up so that we can be healed from sin.  We must be saved from sin.  All sins are habitual.  If we still sin, we must continue to look to the cross in order to stop sinning – in order to be healed from our sinful habits, so that we no longer sin.  Only then can we inherit eternal life. (more)

 

Daniel and Revelation
From the Islamic Antichrist Perspective

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Part One of this book gives an overview of events that should happen during the course of the end times.  This view of eschatology is a literal furture-fulfillment interpretation.  But it doesn’t fit most of the more dispensational future-fulfillment views of eschatology.  Scriptural reasons for these views will be covered in detail.

Part Two of this book is a complete commentary on Daniel from the Islamic Antichrist Perspective.  The reader will find this commentary to be significantly different from other commentaries on Daniel.  Some commentaries are futurist oriented while others are preterist oriented.&nbs; Both of these traditional views of Daniel understand the legs of iron to be Rome.  This book takes the Islamic antichrist perspective.  From this perspective, the legs of iron is the Islamic Caliphate.  You will find an abundance of Scriptural evidence for this view.

Part Three of this book is a complete commentary on Revelation from the Islamic Antichrist Perspective.  Revelation has more Old Testament allusions than any other New Testament book.  Most scholars know about these references to the Old Testament.  But every traditional interpretation of Revelation chooses to ignore this Old Testament context.  Revelation is packed full of symbols.  And most of the symbols can be found in the Old Testament.  I believe that no interpretation of Revelation is valid without bringing the meaning of these Old Testament symbols into Revelation.  We should not just guess at what a symbol might mean.  Let’s let Scripture interpret Scripture.

Click to read the Introduction.
Click to view the Table of Contents.
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Fifteenth Chapter of the Book
Daniel and Revelation
Philip B. Brown (
www.newwine.org )

Daniel Chapter 9
The Seventy Weeks

There are two major views of the seventy weeks in Daniel 9.  The question is which decree to use for the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.

The dispensationalists and most premillennialists tend to go with the letters of King Artaxerxes in 445 BC (Nehemiah 2) as the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.  The 70th week is split off from the rest of the 70.  They place a big time-jump between the 69th week and the 70th week.  Then the 70th week is the time of the great tribulation, which they view as the seven-year period prior to Christ’s "glorious appearing."  During the second half of the seven years, a world-government ruler called the antichrist rules over every tribe, people,  language, and nation of the world (Revelation 13:5-7).

Preterists tend to go with the decree of King Artaxerxes in 458 BC (Ezra 7) as the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.  Preterists do not split off any of the seventy weeks.  All 490 years continues without a break.  Most amillennialists and preterists do not believe in a seven-year great tribulation period prior to Christ’s return.  They do not believe in the world-government ruler called the antichrist.

There is a third view, minor in its acceptance, which is based on the decree of Cyrus in 536 BC.  Most theologians reject this view because the date seems to be too early for it to work.  This, however, is the view that I will argue, based on Scripture.  Most theologians who would take this view would tend to be preterists.  They would not separate some weeks off into the future.  On the other hand, I take the futurist position.  So I split some of the weeks off into the future.

This is done with close attention to the purpose of the seventy weeks, based on Daniel’s prayer.  You can’t understand the answer to a question without understanding the question.  Likewise, you can’t understand the vision without understanding the prayer.  The vision is interpreted in the context of the prayer.

Finally, the Olivetti Discourse (Matthew 24 and Luke 21) will be examined in the context of this purpose, as given in the vision itself.  Thus, the Olivetti Discourse can be interpreted better in the context of Daniel.  This is appropriate because Daniel was Scripture at the time of Christ, and because Jesus makes reference to the abomination of desolation, spoken of by the prophet Daniel.

15.1) Seventy Weeks Based On Nehemiah 2 (Decree of Artaxerxes)

Most futurists, and especially dispensationalists, tend to split the seventy weeks between the 69th and the 70th.  This theory uses the letter of King Artaxerxes in 445 BC (Nehemiah 2) as the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.  The timeline of sixty-nine weeks beginning in 445 BC requires that each week be based on 360-day years, with no correction for the solar cycle.  Those who advocate the use of these letters as the decree are convinced of its correctness by the accuracy of the math.

I don't think we should decide the decree based on the accuracy of the math.  The dates themselves require information outside of Scripture.  You have to go to the footnotes in study Bibles to get these dates.  Unlike Scripture itself, they are subject to error.  I like the idea of first examining Scripture to see what the decree should be.  Use Scriptural precedent.  If we don't, the accuracy of math can deceive us.  The math can be very accurate.  But if the assumptions are incorrect, assumptions upon which the math are based, then the theory can still be wrong.  Many dispensationalists, I believe, are deceived by the accuracy of the math of the 360-day year.

Many advocates of this view tend to portray the 360-day year as being Jewish.  However, the Jewish calendar does not have 360 days in a year.  The Jewish calendar is based on the lunar month.  The lunar cycle is 29 1/2 days.  Therefore, half the months are 29 days, and the other half are 30 days.  This makes a 12-month Jewish year be 354 days, not 360 days.  Also, the Jewish calendar adds an extra month, totaling 13 months, every three years or so in order to correct for the sun.

The only justification for the 360-day year, with no correction for the sun, is based on numbers in Revelation (not Daniel).  Revelation 13:5 says the beast will reign for 42 months.  Revelation 11:1-3 also mentions the 42 months.  And this verse says the two witnesses will prophesy 1260 days.  The 1260 days is also given in Revelation 12:6, where the woman is nourished for 1260 days.  If you divide 1260 days by 42 months, you get exactly 30 days.  Daniel 9:27 is interpreted as saying the sacrifice is stopped in the midst of the week of the covenant.  All this is put together and it’s concluded that the abomination is exactly in the middle of the seven years, and that each half is 1260 days. 

Scripture, however, never explicitly equates the 1260 days with the 42 months.  Also, why is Revelation used to interpret Daniel?  Revelation was written many years after Daniel.  What does Daniel say about the number of days in half the week?  Daniel 12:11 says from the abomination there are 1290 days.  Would not that make the seven years be 1290 days times two?  Seven years would be 2580 days, making one year be 368.57 days.  Of course this doesn’t get us anywhere.  But it’s just as good a number as 360 days for a year.  There are several assumptions here that are being made, to get 360 days, which are invalid assumptions.

The first assumption is that the abomination is exactly in the middle of the seven years.  It can simply be in the midst of the seven years.  The second assumption is that 1260 days is equated to 42 months.  The 1260 days could be the first half, and the 42 months could be the second half.  Daniel 12:11 says that from the abomination there are 1290 days.  That, therefore, is the second half.

Let’s look at an alternative math theory.  The first half is 1260 days.  The second half is 1290 days.  In the middle, dividing these two time-periods, there are seven days.  The two witnesses prophesy for 1260 days.  After that, they are killed and lie dead in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days (Revelation 11:3, 9-11).  3 ½ days is obviously half of seven days.  Adding it together, the seven years is 1260 days plus 7 days plus 1290 days.  This adds up to 2557 days.  Seven years is 365.25 days times 7, which is 2556.75.  Round up for the leap-year and we have 2557 days.  It’s an exact match.

I reject the letters of Nehemiah 2, from 445 BC, for the following two reasons.

The first reason is that the seventy weeks are obviously weeks of years.  The Scriptural precedent for weeks of years is the Jubilee (seven weeks of years) from Leviticus 25.  Here, the growing seasons and Jewish festivals are very important in establishment of these weeks of years.  In Leviticus 25, the weeks of years are based on the growing seasons, where a year corrected to the solar cycle.  360-day years will get way off in the growing seasons.  With the 360-day year, 5.25 days short of the number of days in a year, it only takes 70 years for summer to be winter and winter to be summer - a full half-year out of sync with the solar cycle.  Also in Leviticus 25 we have the jubilee defined.  The seventy weeks is ten jubilees.  There has never been a calendar that was not corrected to the solar cycle.  The Jewish calendar has 354 days in a year, and is corrected to the solar cycle approximately every third year.

The second reason for rejecting the letters of Nehemiah 2 is that they were not a public law-making decree.  They were only letters written to the governors of Trans-Euphrates for safe conduct, and to Asaph, keeper of the king’s forest, so that he would give Nehemiah timber.  The public law-making decree to release the Jews and rebuild Jerusalem had already been given by Cyrus.  No further decree was necessary.

15.2) Seventy Weeks Based On Ezra 7 (Decree of Artaxerxes)

Preterists generally use the decree of King Artaxerxes in 458 BC (Ezra 7) as the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.  Preterists do not split off any of the seventy weeks.  All 490 years continues without a break.  The math of this date works quite well.  Sixty-nine weeks brings us to 26 AD, the start of Christ’s ministry.  Thus the crucifixion would be in the middle of the seventh week.  The problem, however, is that the decree given in Ezra 7 is not for the rebuilding of Jerusalem.  It was not for the rebuilding of anything.  It was simply for supplies for the temple.  Verses 16, 17, and 20 of Ezra 7 specifically say it's for the temple.  (The KJV says the "house of their God which is in Jerusalem."  The NIV says the "temple of their God in Jerusalem.")  I could find no mention of building anything in Ezra 7.  And, the temple was already completed at the time of this decree.

The BC dates that we have in our study Bibles are not in Scripture itself.  They are computed from ancient lists of kings.  There is very little disagreement among scholars on these dates.  Nevertheless, they are based on ancient texts outside of Scripture, and can have errors.  As we will see, all the arguments of Scripture itself, without data from outside of Scripture, point to the decree of Cyrus.  If we didn't have those lists of kings that are not in Scripture, then nobody would suggest Nehemiah 2 or Ezra 7.  Everyone would be in agreement that it's the decree of Cyrus, because Scripture itself suggests no other decree.

15.3) BC Dates Should Only Be For Comparison

It's my belief that the sixty-two weeks begins with the decree of Cyrus and completes with the birth of Christ.  At this point most theologians will say that my dates do not add up.  The decree of Cyrus is said to have been in 536 BC.  The birth of Christ was around 6 BC to 2 BC.  And sixty-two weeks of years would be 434 years.  The date of 536 BC would seem to be about 96 years too early.

But where in Scripture does it say the decree of Cyrus was in 536 BC?  Scripture only tells us that it was in the “first year of Cyrus king of Persia.”  Scholars have spent huge amounts of time trying to piece together ancient king-lists and other information that is used to determine the dates when various kings ruled.  The study of all this information is extremely complex and can be prone to lots of error because much of the ancient information often itself has errors.

Ptolemy of Alexandria was an astronomer who lived in the second century AD.  Many of the Bible dates are based on his king-list, which includes lunar eclipses.  When the lunar eclipses are verified, the lists are given a high level of credibility.  This assumes that historians observed and recorded the lunar eclipses as they occurred.  But what if Ptolemy did the computations for back-dating the lunar eclipses himself?  After all, he was an astronomer, not a historian.  What if Ptolemy simply included his own computations of the lunar eclipses alongside a faulty king-list that the historians of his time had compiled based on limited and error-prone information?  If so, then the credibility of this king-list would be no better than if no lunar eclipses had been given.  Bottom line is that the subject of dates for all the ancient kings is extremely complex and prone to error.

BC dates are good for comparison.  They help us understand what events took place before or after other events.  They help us lay out the timeline as a tool for a better understanding of Scripture.  But ancient BC dates should never be used to determine theology.  Ancient BC dates should be completely ignored when determining the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.  We must use Scripture alone to determine theology.

15.4) Seventy Weeks Based On Ezra 1 (Decree of Cyrus)

Some have argued that the decree of Cyrus was not a decree to rebuild Jerusalem, but was instead a decree to rebuild the temple.  But is not rebuilding the temple the first step of rebuilding Jerusalem?  Is not the temple in Jerusalem?  Isaiah lays this argument to rest.  Isaiah prophesied the decree to rebuild Jerusalem in Isaiah 44:28, even naming Cyrus' name, hundreds of years before Cyrus was born.  Isaiah said that Cyrus would rebuild both the temple and Jerusalem.  So from a perspective of letting Scripture interpret Scripture, the decree of Cyrus is the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.

Ezra 1:1-5  Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of Yahweh by the mouth of Jeremiah might be accomplished, Yahweh stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,  (2)  Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, All the kingdoms of the earth has Yahweh, the God of heaven, given me; and he has commanded me to build him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah.  (3)  Whoever there is among you of all his people, his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of Yahweh, the God of Israel  (he is God), which is in Jerusalem.  (4)  Whoever is left, in any place where he sojourns, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with animals, besides the freewill offering for the house of God which is in Jerusalem.  (5)  Then rose up the heads of fathers' houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, even all whose spirit God had stirred to go up to build the house of Yahweh which is in Jerusalem.

Isaiah 44:28  Who says of Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure,' even saying of Jerusalem, 'She will be built;' and of the temple, 'Your foundation will be laid.' "

The prayer of Daniel 9 was given after Babylon had been conquered by Cyrus, in the first year of Darius the Mede.  The decree of Cyrus was also given the first year of Cyrus, which would be the first year of his rule over Babylon.  Cyrus was ruler over the entire Persian Empire.  Thus Darius was probably a governor of Babylon starting in the year that Babylon was conquered.  For Darius' rule to have started several years later would not make sense.  Why would Daniel pray for something that had already been given in the first year of Cyrus?  Also, Daniel 5:30-31 tells us that Darius began to reign at the age of 62, right after Belshazzar was killed.  So Daniel's prayer must have been given in the same year that Babylon was conquered.  Daniel must have prayed knowing that Cyrus had already conquered Babylon, but before Cyrus had made his decree.  In other words, the conquering of Babylon would have given Daniel hope that Jeremiah's prophecy was about to be fulfilled.  He was praying in response to that hope.  His prayer was answered that very year.

Daniel's prayer specifically asks for the fulfillment of Jeremiah's 70 years (Daniel 9:2).   And Scripture itself tells us that the decree of Cyrus was in fulfillment of Jeremiah's 70 years (Ezra 1:1).  So the decree of Cyrus was in direct answer to Daniel's prayer.

Daniel's prayer (Daniel 9:2) mentions the 70 years that Jeremiah said the captivity would last.  This prophecy (Jeremiah 25:11-12) also said that the king of Babylon would be punished.  Daniel had obviously recognized this punishment and was thus prompted to pray for Israel.  Ezra 1:1 also mentions Jeremiah's 70 years and says that the decree of Cyrus was in its fulfillment.  Much of this can be found in 2 Chronicles 36:20-23.

2 Chronicles 36:20-23 ESV  He took into exile in Babylon those who had escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and to his sons until the establishment of the kingdom of Persia,  (21)  to fulfill the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed its Sabbaths. All the days that it lay desolate it kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years(22)  Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing:  (23)  "Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, 'The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may the LORD his God be with him. Let him go up.'"

These verses in Chronicles connects the decree of Cyrus to the building of the temple in Jerusalem.  The point is that the temple is in Jerusalem.  So it's a decree to rebuild Jerusalem.  Also note the relation of the 70 years with the Sabbaths for the land.  They were in captivity one year for each year that the land had not been given a Sabbath's rest.  The land lay "desolate."  Thus Jerusalem was desolate for these 70 years.  There can be no doubt that the seventy weeks of years must be interpreted as real calendar years for which the land is expected to be given a year of rest every seven years.  Also, there can be no doubt, based on Scripture, that the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem must be the decree of Cyrus.

By relating Daniel's prayer to the vision of seventy weeks, we can see that these are seventy weeks during which God has promised that Jerusalem will not be desolate.  This promise for Jerusalem to not be desolate is related to the years of rest for the land, and the need for Israel to obey all of God's commands.

15.5) Daniel’s Prayer

You can’t understand the answer to a question without understanding the question.  Likewise, you can’t understand the vision without understanding the prayer to which the vision was in response.  Thus, the vision is better interpreted in the context of Daniel’s prayer.

Daniel prayed for the forgiveness of Israel's sins.  Daniel confessed that Jerusalem had been desolate for 70 years, because of Israel's sins.  Daniel, in his prayer, explicitly mentions the prophecy of Jeremiah, which said the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years.  Is not the seventy weeks of years in Daniel 9 related to the 70 years of Jeremiah 25:11-12?  Would not one begin when the other ends?  Are not both periods of time related to sin?

In the vision, God is saying that He would put an end to the desolation of Jerusalem.  But God gives a reason for doing so.  God says that "your people, and your holy city" have seventy weeks of years to put an end to sin.  It all adds up together.  God immediately brought the desolation of Jerusalem to an end.  The prophecy of Jeremiah 29:10 even says that after the 70 years the people of Israel would be brought back to Jerusalem.  Jerusalem would no longer be desolate.  So seventy weeks that Israel was given to put an end to sin would logically start right then, when God brought the desolation of Jerusalem to an end.  The start of the seventy weeks of non-desolation immediately followed the 70 years of desolation.

Daniel was praying for forgiveness of sin.  The seventy weeks of non-desolation of Jerusalem are given for us to completely stop sinning, according to Daniel 9:24 (quoted below).  The seventy weeks are for “your people and your holy city” to do this.  Therefore, this will be completed for all of Israel before Christ returns.  Also remember that the Gentile believers are grafted into Israel.  So we are included.  We must stop sinning before Christ returns.  That's the literal interpretation of the verse, so that's what we must believe.

However, failure to do so does not mean the loss of salvation.  The verse says we must "finish transgression, put an end to sin, ... and bring in everlasting righteousness."  Failure to completely overcome sin by the time Christ sets up his kingdom means that one is not a part of the true Israel, which is the true Church, the Bride of Christ.  One would simply continue their journey towards salvation living in the nations of the world during the millennium.  This is the New Wine System.  The New Wine System is a literal interpretation of Scripture such that Old Testament Jewish eschatology is applied directly to the New Testament Church.  For more information on the New Wine System, refer to my book, "New Wine for the End Times."

15.6) Comparison between Three Systems of Interpretation

As stated previously, I believe the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem is the decree of Cyrus.  But unlike some preterists who might agree, I put a significant portion of the seventy weeks in the end times.  In other words, I believe in a futurist interpretation of Daniel’s seventy weeks – specifically the seven weeks of the seventy.  And I view this interpretation of Daniel 9 as being compatible with the New Wine System.  The New Wine System interprets Old Testament prophecies about Israel ruling the world, in the Messianic age to come, as being literally fulfilled, with the Church being grafted into Israel.

Jesus will be the literal King of Kings and Lord of Lords in the age to come.  And we will be priests and kings with Christ, ruling over the nations.  Through the rule of Christ’s Bride, which is Israel, which is all who are in Christ, the gospel will go out to all the nations.  Those who are in Christ are Israel, and will literally fulfill all the Old Testament prophecies about Israel ruling the world when the Messiah comes again.  This is the New Wine System.

The other two major systems of interpretation have been preterism and dispensationalism.  Traditional preterism has had predominance throughout most of Church history.  Dispensationalism is more recent in Church history, but today it enjoys a lot of acceptance, especially with the more literal minded theologians.  Preterists usually use Ezra 7 as the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.  Dispensationalists usually use Nehemiah 2 as the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.  And the New Wine System uses Cyrus (Ezra 1) as the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem.  It’s interesting to do a comparison between these three systems of interpretation, and to see why their specific approaches to Daniel 9 strongly reflects the differences between these three systems.

Preterism means “past fulfillment.”  The preterist view of Daniel 9 is that the seventy weeks are contiguous, and go from the decree in Ezra 7 to the crucifixion of Christ.  The crucifixion itself happens in the middle of the seventieth week.  The end of the seventieth week is often assumed to be the stoning of Stephen.  (We don’t actually know how long it was between the crucifixion and the stoning of Stephen.)  Preterists pick Ezra 7 primarily because the dates work out nicely.  Preterism goes hand-in-hand with the covenantal view, which says the Church, under the new covenant, is a continuation of the Old Testament system of covenants.  This means that the Church basically replaces Israel.  With preterism, the kingdom of heaven is spiritual.  It’s in our hearts.  So there is no literal fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies about Israel literally ruling the nations.

Preterist view of Daniel 9

7 Weeks

62 Weeks

Week of the Covenant

Dispensationalism, on the other hand, draws major distinctions between Israel and the Church.  Dispensationalism views all of history as being divided up into seven dispensations, which is roughly seven time periods.  But more accurately, each dispensation has a different set of rules by which God judges men for salvation.  The Church dispensation is seen as a “parenthesis” between Old Testament Israel and the millennial age to come.  The dispensationalists view the seventy weeks as sixty-nine contiguous weeks from the decree in Nehemiah 2 until Palm Sunday when Christ rode into Jerusalem on a donkey.  The seventh week is the week of the covenant.  It is split off from the rest.  The seventh week begins with a covenant between the antichrist and Israel.  The pre-tribulation rapture is also believed to be at the start of this week.  The “glorious appearing” of Christ is said to be at the end of the seventh week.  With dispensationalism, the kingdom of heaven is more literal.  The kingdom will come when Christ returns to rule here on the earth during the millennium.  However, there is a newer view called progressive dispensationalism which says the kingdom is in our hearts as a partial fulfillment.  Then when Christ returns, the kingdom of heaven will come literally to earth in the millennial reign of Christ.

Dispensational view of Daniel 9

7 Weeks

62 Weeks

Church Age

Week of the Covenant

The New Wine System, on the other hand, views Israel and the Church as being identical.  Gentile believers are grafted into Israel.  The New Wine view of Daniel 9 is that the seventy weeks are split between sixty-two weeks and seven weeks.  The Messiah comes twice.  Each allocation of weeks brings us to a coming of the Messiah.  The sixty-two weeks go from the decree of Cyrus (Ezra 1) to the birth of Christ.  Then there is an extra week from the birth of Christ to Herod’s death.  After the seven weeks the Messiah comes again in the appearance of the New Jerusalem.

The time in-between the two allocations of weeks is the time of the Gentiles, when Gentiles trample on Jerusalem by ruling over it, or when Jerusalem is desolate.  After the time of the Gentiles there is a final seven weeks during which Jerusalem is not trampled on by the Gentiles.  The entire seventy weeks (sixty-two plus one and seven) is non-desolate time for Jerusalem.  After the seven weeks is over, there is a covenant for one more week, not included in the seventy.  During that final week, Jerusalem is again trampled upon by the Gentiles for forty-two months (Revelation 11:2).  Then the Messiah sets up his earthly kingdom.

New Wine System view of Daniel 9

62 weeks (+1)

Time of the Gentiles

7 weeks

Week of the Covenant

The New Wine System agrees with progressive dispensationalists in that the kingdom of heaven is partially fulfilled in our hearts, but will literally be fulfilled when Christ sets up his earthly kingdom.  We will literally reign with Christ over the nations during the millennium.

15.7) The Purpose of the Seventy Weeks

The vision of Daniel 9 itself has a purpose statement.  Each of the three systems of interpretation views this purpose statement quite differently.

Daniel 9:24 NIV  Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.

Preterists will argue that Christ fulfilled this purpose entirely at the cross.  It’s true that Christ’s crucifixion paid for our sins.  So in a way, transgression was finished.  In a way, sin was put to an end.  And the cross did atone for wickedness.  Sin is still with us.  But since the sins are paid for, you could argue that we have everlasting righteousness.  So certainly the cross has a lot to do with the fulfillment of Daniel 9.  But is this something that we ourselves did?  Or is this something that Christ did?  Yet the text says these are things that “your people and your holy city” must do.  Israel was punished 70 years for sin.  Now God is saying that we must stop sinning during these seventy weeks of years.  Saying that Christ fulfilled this vision is to avoid the responsibility that we have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12.)  Saying that Christ fulfilled this vision is to completely ignore Daniel’s prayer of repentance for Israel, and God’s response that Israel must repent and stop sinning.  Salvation is a journey.  This is sanctification.  God does the greatest work in us (Philippians 2:13.)  But it’s a task that we must undertake, with God doing the greater work.

Preterism says the vision is completely fulfilled.  Therefore, the purpose must also be fulfilled.  Even though the purpose statement says “your people” must do these things, preterists believe all these things were accomplished by Christ on the cross.  In other words, sins were put to an end because of the cross.  Transgression was finished because of the cross.  It’s true that our sins are forgiven because of the cross.  But the cross did not bring about an end to transgression and sin.  By saying the purpose was fulfilled at the cross nullifies the vision's requirement that all sin in God’s people must stop before Christ returns.

Dispensationalists, on the other hand, would view “your people and your holy city” as being entirely Israel and not the Church.  Thus, dispensationalists tend to ignore the requirement to overcome sin.  The time in-between the sixty-ninth week and the seventh week is considered to be a “parenthesis” between two dispensations for Israel.  The Church is believed to be caught up in the rapture and in heaven when the seventh week begins.  Some of the more ultra-dispensationalists even say the Church is saved by grace but that Israel is saved by grace plus works.  So they have to stop sinning but we don't.  It's absurd.  By saying the vision is for Israel, and not the Church, dispensationalists nullify the vision's requirement that all the sinful habits of God’s people must stop before Christ returns.

The New Wine System views “your people and your holy city” as being about Israel.  Gentile believers are grafted into Israel.  So the vision is for us all.  The Old Testament purpose of Israel was to reign with the Messiah over the world in order to bring righteousness to the world.  But to teach righteousness, the world’s priests and kings must themselves be righteous.  Israel was not ready to rule the world at the time of Christ's first coming.  How many of us find the narrow gate of holiness?  The seventy weeks are time periods during which Jerusalem is not trampled on by Gentiles.  This is important because after the week of the covenant, during the Messianic reign of Christ, Jerusalem will be the capital of the world.

We who are in Israel must all completely stop sinning before Christ sets up his earthly kingdom.  Those who completely overcome all their sinful habits, through a relationship with Jesus Christ, will be in the wedding banquet and will reign as priests and kings during the Messianic age to come.  There will be many who will be resurrected to live during the millennium.  Everyone has the free-will opportunity to accept Christ as their Savior and King.  But not everyone is elected to be in the commonwealth of Israel.  In other words, not all who believe in Christ will be kings and priests during the millennium.

Therefore, the people who have died, having never heard about or accepted Christ as their personal Savior, will be able to hear the gospel during the millennium.  They will have the opportunity to accept Christ as their Savior after the resurrection of both the just and the unjust.  It's only those who deliberately and knowingly reject God's salvation that will not be resurrected, and will wind up going to the lake of fire, which is hell, after the thousand-year reign of Christ.  The final Judgment, therefore, is not until a thousand years after the resurrection of both the just and the unjust.

If you are Baptist, you might believe that vision and prophecy were sealed with Christ’s first coming.  Other Christians believe that vision and prophecy are still with us today.  But even if vision and prophecy were sealed with Christ’s first coming, it would not have been sealed at the time of the crucifixion.  The book of Revelation, as an example, was written years later, and it’s certainly a book of vision and a prophecy.  The entire New Testament was written after the preterists say that the seventy weeks were finished.  So preterists would have a problem with vision and prophecy being sealed at the time of the crucifixion.

Daniel 9:24 NIV "Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.

The seventy weeks were given for “your people and your holy city” to anoint the most holy.  Messiah means the anointed one.  In Old Testament times, this meant to literally pour oil over the head of a person, saying that he is king.  The Church today considers Christ to be our king.  He reigns in heaven.  But he reigned in heaven from the creation of the world.  Everything that was made was made by Him and through Him (Colossians 1:16).  But during the ministry of Christ, he avoided being made king by the people (John 6:15).  Someday, however, when Christ returns, “your people and your holy city” will anoint him King.  He will reign here on the earth.  This has not yet happened.

The decree is for "your people and your holy city."  All true believers are included in "your people" because the true Israel and the true Church are the same.  Gentile believers are grafted into Israel.  But are we included in "your holy city"?  Sure you could say there is a spiritual Jerusalem.  But in the context of the vision, Daniel was praying for the restoration of the natural city of old Jerusalem.  Context is king.  The decree of Cyrus was for the restoration of that natural city, not for the restoration of a spiritual Jerusalem.  So "your holy city" must be talking about the natural old city of Jerusalem. 

Matthew 23:37-39 makes it clear that Jesus will not return until those who “sit on the seat of Moses” (verse 2) say about Jesus, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”  The people of Jerusalem had already said these exact words (Matthew 21:9) when Jesus rode in on a donkey.  So this is not a requirement for Christians, or Jewish people in general, or even for Jews in Jerusalem.  The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, who “sit on the seat of Moses,” must also fulfill this prophecy.  Romans 11:25 also talks about the fact that the Jews must turn to Christ before Christ returns.  It fits that Daniel's vision says that “your holy city” must anoint the most holy.  The Jewish leaders in old Jerusalem must acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah before the seventy weeks are fulfilled.

With this in mind, the seventy weeks cannot have already been finished.  There must be a gap between Christ’s first coming and his second coming.  It’s true that the text does not suggest a gap between the 69th and the 70th week.  But the text does allow for a gap between the seven weeks and the sixty-two weeks.  Both time periods are decreed.  Nothing in the text requires them to be added or to occur concurrently.  Forcing them to be contiguous is forcing a requirement on the timeline that the text itself does not indicate.  It's only an assumption to say that the two allotments of time are contiguous.  Making them as two separate allotments of time in two separate comings of Christ makes a lot more sense than trying to find some significant event that might have occurred at the point where they would be joined contiguously.

Daniel 9:25 NIV "Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.

 Since the seventy weeks are not yet fulfilled, and since the sixty-two weeks were fulfilled when the Messiah was “cut off”, then the seven weeks must remain to be fulfilled in the end times, just prior to Christ’s second coming.  As a matter of fact, the time when “the end shall come” (Matthew 24:14) is probably the “end” of the seventy weeks.  It fits the context because Jesus is referring back to the abomination of desolation, spoken of in the prophet Daniel.

Since the seventy weeks are not yet completely fulfilled, it would hold that the abomination of desolation is still in the future.  This makes Matthew 24 also be future, while Luke 21 deals with the surrounding of Jerusalem in 70 AD.  Later in this article I will discuss more about how the Olivetti Discourse (Matthew 24 and Luke 21) ties back to the seventy weeks.

15.8) The Messiah is Cut-Off

It's my belief that the sixty-two weeks goes from the decree of Cyrus to the birth of Christ.  Christ is "cut off" at his birth, not his death.  Most people interpret this verse to mean the Messiah is crucified after the sixty-two 'sevens.' The Hebrew word that is translated 'cut off' is karath.  The first five books of the Bible use the word 66 times.  Only 8 of these references actually mean to be killed or destroyed.  And there are other Hebrew words that always mean to kill or destroy.

Daniel 9:26 NIV After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.

This word is usually used when a covenant is cut (or made). Originally, a covenant was made by cutting an animal in half. The two parties of the covenant would walk between the pieces of flesh to seal the agreement (Genesis 15:9-10, 17-18). In the following passage, we see that the 'cutting off' of flesh in circumcision is the same. The word karath is used here as well. Moses is on the way to Egypt to tell Pharaoh to let God's people go.

Exodus 4:24-26  It happened on the way at a lodging place, that Yahweh met him and wanted to kill him.  (25)  Then Zipporah [Moses' wife, (2:22)] took a flint, and cut off [karath] the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet; and she said, "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me."  (26)  So he let him alone. Then she said, "You are a bridegroom of blood," because of the circumcision.

Israel is God's firstborn son. Israel went down into Egypt and became a slave. Just as Israel was freed from the bonds of slavery to Pharaoh, Christ came to free us from the bonds of slavery to sin and Satan. Satan is the prince of this world (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11). Christ came to free us from the Pharaoh of this world. As Moses went down into Egypt, his son's circumcision [karath] had to be performed. When God sent his Son into this world, to free us from Pharaoh, he too was circumcised (Luke 2:21-23) and then went down into Egypt (Matthew 2:14). Christ was born to be a "bridegroom of blood," (as the verse above says) which refers to karath or circumcision.

To 'cut off' is to separate. Circumcision is the cutting of skin or flesh. It is symbolic of the cutting off of ourselves that must be done. Our sinful nature, our desires of the flesh, must be cut off (Romans 2:29, Philippians 3:2). We must be separated from the evil part of ourselves that we inherited from Adam. When Israel crossed the Jordan into the Promised Land, the waters of the Jordan River were 'cut off' [karath] from the city of Adam to the Dead Sea (Joshua 3:16). This allowed Israel to cross the Jordan on dry ground. If our inheritance that flows from Adam, which leads to death, is not 'cut off' we cannot enter the Promised Land.  We enter God's Rest (Hebrews 3-4), which is the Promised Land, when sin - our fleshly desires, are 'cut off.'  In obedience to the Law, and as an example for us, Christ was circumcised at his birth.  The purpose of the seventy 'sevens' of time is stated to be time for overcoming sin.  To overcome sin, we must be crucified with Christ.

The word 'karath,' meaning 'cut off,' has four basic uses or meanings. All four meanings can be applied to Christ's birth.  The first five books of the Bible use the word 29 times in reference to being separated from Israel. At Christ's birth, God was 'cut off' from Himself.  God became Man.  It is used 20 times in these same books in reference to cutting a covenant. When Christ came at his birth, God was cutting a new covenant with Man.  A simple act of cutting something occurs 9 times. (OK, at Christ's birth the umbilical cord was 'cut off'.)  It is used 8 times to mean killed or destroyed. Jesus is the Word, the Word is God, and the "Word became flesh" (John 1:14). At the end of the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Word became flesh so that the flesh could be 'cut off.' God was 'cut off' (separated) from God so that God as flesh could be 'cut off' (killed/destroyed) in our place. This is the new covenant given by Jesus at the Last Supper. In acceptance of this covenant we must 'cut off' (separate and kill/destroy) sin from ourselves. "If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away" (Matthew 5:30).

At the end of the sixty-two 'sevens,' the "Word became flesh" and Jesus was circumcised. This sums up the meaning of the word 'karath,' or 'cut off.'  The birth of Christ marks the end of the sixty-two 'sevens.'

Most of the modern translations say that after the Messiah is "cut-off", he will have nothing.  This includes the NAS, NIV, RSV, NASB, ASV, Darby, and the NRSV.  If "cut-off" means to be killed, then "will have nothing" doesn't really flow very well.  On the other hand, if "cut-off" means the birth, then it makes a lot of sense.  Christ came from heaven where he was rich.  He was 'cut off' from heaven and had nothing.  He was born into a poor family.  You could say that Christ also died poor.  But to say that would distract from the purpose of his coming.  His real sacrifice of poverty was at his birth.

15.9) The Sixty-Two Weeks

In the previous sections, we saw that the purpose for the allocation of seventy weeks has not yet been fulfilled.  Therefore, the seventy weeks themselves have not yet been completely fulfilled.  Furthermore, we saw that Scripture highly supports the decree of Cyrus as the time when the seventy weeks began.  As soon as the seventy years of Jeremiah were finished, God used Cyrus to bring Israel back to Jerusalem.  In answer to Daniel’s prayer, Jerusalem became no longer desolate.  Thus the seventy weeks of years began as soon as the seventy years were ended.  We also saw that the text does not support the idea of a contiguous sixty-nine weeks followed by a gap between the 69th and the 70th week.  The text does, however, allow for the seven weeks to be a separate allocation of time.  The sixty-two weeks are given until the first coming of the Christ.  The seven weeks are associated with the second coming of Christ.  The full seventy weeks are about both of Christ’s comings.  The full seventy weeks of Daniel are given for “your people and your holy city” to “stop sinning”, to “seal up vision and prophecy”, and to anoint the most holy.  These are all things that will be fulfilled before Christ comes again.

Daniel 9:24-26 ESV  "Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city, to finish the transgression, to put an end to sin, and to atone for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal both vision and prophet, and to anoint a most holy place. 

(25)  Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks.  [SO] for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 

(26)  And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.

From the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, to the coming of the Messiah, there will be seven weeks, preceded by a sixty-two week period.  Christ's first coming was at his birth, not his death.  But then he left and went to Egypt for a few years.  After Christ came, with the death of Herod, the trampling upon Jerusalem by the Gentiles began because of the rejection of Christ by the Jewish leadership.  This started when Herod the Great deliberately and purposefully tried to kill God’s Messiah by killing all the babies in Bethlehem.  Finally, there will be a final seven week period that leads up to the second coming of the Messiah.

In the previous section on the “Purpose of the Seventy Weeks,” we saw that Jesus will not return until those who “sit on the seat of Moses” say about Jesus, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”  The seventy weeks requires that “your people and your holy city” must “anoint the most holy.”  Failure of the Jewish leadership, those who sit on the seat of Moses, to anoint the most holy brings desolation to Jerusalem.  This process of trampling by the Gentiles started with the death of Herod the Great.  The desolation of Jerusalem was finished in 70 AD.  Herod the Great was the last ruler of Jerusalem that had any arguable independence from Rome.  After Herod, Jerusalem was ruled directly by Roman governors, such as Pilate.  Time ran out in 70 AD, for those who sat on the seat of Moses, to repent.  The temple and Jerusalem were destroyed.

After the sixty-two weeks, the Messiah came to Jerusalem.  Christ came at his birth, not his death.  But then Christ left Israel and went to Egypt for a few years until Herod’s death.  After Herod’s death, Christ came back to Israel.  We don’t know exactly how long it was between Christ’s birth and Herod’s death.  But it’s a reasonable guess to say that Christ was born around 6 BC and that Herod died around 2 AD.  This would be a difference of seven years.  The difference could have been shorter.  But we know that Herod killed all the children two years old or younger.  And we know that Mary, Joseph, and Jesus lived in Egypt for a while.  It’s reasonable that it would have been a few years.

Sixty-two weeks plus seven weeks adds to sixty-nine weeks.  It’s been assumed that the week of the covenant in Daniel 9:27 is a part of the seventy weeks.  But the great tribulation cannot be included in the seventy weeks.  During the second half of that week, Jerusalem is trampled upon by the Gentiles for 42 months (Revelation 11:2).  Therefore, the great tribulation cannot be a part of the seventy weeks.  The missing week cannot be the week of the covenant.  There will be more on this later.

I believe there were sixty-two weeks from the decree of Cyrus until the birth of Christ.  And then there was another week until Herod’s death.  This is the missing week that makes it add up to seventy weeks.  After Herod’s death, the trampling of Jerusalem by the Gentiles began, and the seventy weeks were no longer underway.  Herod’s death marked the beginning of the trampling on Jerusalem that Jesus called the “time of the Gentiles.”  Jesus said:

Matthew 23:36-39  Most certainly I tell you, all these things will come upon this generation.  (37)  "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets, and stones those who are sent to her! How often I would have gathered your children together, even as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you would not!  (38)  Behold, your house is left to you desolate(39)  For I tell you, you will not see me from now on, until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!' "

Luke 21:20-22, 24 NIV  "When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near.  (21)  Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. (22)  For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written.  ... (24) They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

Matthew 23 teaches us that the rejection of Christ by the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem was the cause of the trampling upon Jerusalem, eventually leading to the desolation of Jerusalem.  Luke 21 teaches us the desolation is a “time of punishment,” and that it is in fulfillment of “all that has been written.”  Full Preterists argue that this verse means that all Bible prophecy was fulfilled by the time of 70 AD.  But a better way to interpret the verse is to see that the punishment of 70 AD directly relates to “all that has been written.”  It’s not the last thing that will happen in Bible prophecy.

Christ redeemed the world from sin.  But when men reject Christ’s salvation, it brings destruction and desolation.  Daniel prayed for the forgiveness of Israel’s sins and for the desolation of Jerusalem to end.  Seventy weeks of non-desolation were given for “your people and your holy city” to entirely stop sinning, seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Messiah.  In other words, the seventy weeks of Daniel is a summary of “all that has been written.”  It goes to the heart of the gospel for all time, for both the old covenant and the new covenant.  The heart of the gospel is the reversal of Man’s fall into sin and the restoration of Man’s relationship with God.  This is carried out as outlined in a seventy-week prophecy.  After this vision is completed, there will be no more need for vision and prophecy.

Luke 21:24 NIV  They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

The Jewish leaders were expecting the Messiah to overthrow the Roman (Gentile) rulers and then to set up the kingdom of heaven.  The kingdom of heaven would bring righteousness to the nations.  But the Jewish leaders were so full of sin that they could not recognize Righteousness when he was standing right in front of them.  So Christ had to allow Jerusalem to become desolate again, and for the Jews to be taken as prisoners to the nations.  The true gospel of the kingdom must spread to people from every nation, tribe, people, and language.  Then, Christ will have the true Israel who will reign with him during the age to come, after Christ returns.

Since the time of Herod the Great, Jerusalem has been trampled upon by the Gentiles.  And Jerusalem became desolate in 70 AD.  But the time of the Gentiles has now come to an end.  Jerusalem is no longer desolate.  Jerusalem is no longer being trampled upon by the Gentiles.  After the Six Day War of 1967, the Jews again controlled Old Jerusalem.  Some will argue that the Jews in Jerusalem today do not believe in Christ, and therefore cannot be a fulfillment of the time of the Gentiles.  But the word Gentile means non-Jewish.  The word Gentile says nothing about belief in Christ.  For Jerusalem to be controlled by Gentiles means it’s not being controlled by Jews.  Nothing is being said about the repentance of the Jews.

Of course we do believe there will be un-hardening and repentance of the Jews during the week of the covenant.  But the seventy weeks are underway simply because Jerusalem is no longer being controlled by Gentiles, based on Daniel’s prayer and God’s allocation of seventy weeks in response to that prayer.  The Six Day War of 1967 is a clear reversal of 70 AD.  The time of the Gentiles is when Jerusalem is controlled by Gentiles.  It began with Herod’s death, continued with the desolation of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and ended in 1967.  Therefore, Daniel’s seventy weeks are again underway.  We are currently in the seven weeks.

Others have argued the time of the Gentiles continues because the temple is not rebuilt.  But the seventy weeks began with the decree of Cyrus.  It took a good number of years for the temple to be completed.  The seventy weeks were still underway as soon as Cyrus issued the decree.  Thus, the temple does not have to be standing during the entire seventy weeks.  I believe the temple will be built during the first 1260 days of the week of the covenant, during which the two witnesses of Revelation 11 will be prophesying.  The temple does not have to be standing for the final seven weeks to be underway.  Based on Daniel’s prayer, the only requirement is that Old Jerusalem not be desolate and not be under Gentile control.

15.10) The Seven Weeks

The sixty-two weeks ended with the birth of Christ.  In between the sixty-third week and the final seven weeks is the time of the Gentiles.  Jerusalem is trampled upon by the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled.  Then the seventy weeks of non-desolation, promised to Daniel, starts up again. Starting in 1967, Jerusalem was no longer trampled on by Gentiles.  When do these last seven weeks end?  Would the seven weeks end when Christ sets up his kingdom?  That would mean that Jerusalem will never again be trampled upon by the Gentiles.  However, Scripture teaches there will again be a time when Jerusalem will be trampled again for forty-two months.

Revelation 11:1-2 NIV  I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there.  (2)  But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months.

If Jerusalem is trampled upon by Gentiles for 42 months, it means that the month before and the month after this time-period Jerusalem is not trampled upon by Gentiles.  So this is further evidence that today Jerusalem is not currently being trampled on by Gentiles, and thus the time of the Gentiles is over with – except for another 42 months.

Matthew 24:12-15  Because iniquity will be multiplied, the love of many will grow cold.  (13)  But he who endures to the end, the same will be saved.  (14)  This Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come(15)  "When, therefore, you see the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),

Notice several points about the end, as given in this passage.  The gospel is preached and then the end comes.  Then we see the abomination of desolation.  The natural interpretation of this passage is that the Church is free to preach the gospel until the end.  But after that, we will see the abomination that causes desolation and we will not be free to preach the gospel all over the world.  As we have seen, there is a 42-month period between the last of the seventy weeks and the return of Christ.  During this time, the saints are turned over to the beast (Rev. 13:5-7).

The disciples had asked for signs of Christ’s return and the end of the age.  When the end of the seventy weeks comes, the week of the covenant begins, which includes the time of great tribulation.  And he who stands firm to the end of that will be saved.  This means the week of the covenant is after the end of the seventy weeks.  Christ and the antichrist come at the same time.

So there are two “ends” being discussed.  First, there is the end of the seventy weeks.  The seventy weeks are over, so Christ returns.  After that we will see the abomination that causes desolation.  This marks the start of the 42 months when Jerusalem is trampled upon by Gentiles again.  After the week of the covenant there is the "end that is decreed [which is] poured out on the desolator" (verse 27.)  Therefore, for all practical purposes, the entire 42-month period of great tribulation can be called the “end.”  It goes from the end of the seven weeks until the end of the reign of antichrist.  The week of the covenant can be considered to be a seven-year ending, from the perspective of Satan's reign.  But it's also the first seven years of the age to come, from the perspective of Christ's reign.  Christ and the antichrist both come at the same time.

The Jews at the time of Christ were not ready to reign with Christ over the nations.  The Jewish leaders appeared to be holy on the outside.  But inside they were as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).  Outside, they were like clean cups.  But inside they were unclean (Matthew 23:25-26).  The Messiah was supposed to come and take on the burden of government.

Isaiah 9:6  For to us a child is born. To us a son is given; and the government will be on his shoulders. His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

They were not ready to reign with Christ over the nations.  So Christ had to wait and come again in a future generation when he would have people from every nation, tribe, people, and language who will have overcome all their sinful habits, both inside and outside, and will be ready to reign with Christ.

During the 42 months, during the week of the covenant, the saints will be turned over to the antichrist.  But this will only bring about a purification of the Church, the Bride of Christ.  The great tribulation will bring holiness.  By the time Christ sets up his earthly kingdom, he will have people from every nation, tribe, people, and language who have completely overcome sin, and will be ready to reign with Christ over the nations.

15.11) The Messiah vs. the Prince (or Ruler)

The NIV translation simply adds the seven weeks and the sixty-two weeks, making them appear contiguous.

Daniel 9:25 NIV  Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.

The ESV translation, on the other hand, seems to recognize two independent allocations of time.  This much better fits the separate allocation of two periods of weeks, as presented in this article.

Daniel 9:25 ESV  Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.

This translation unfortunately has the word “then” to make the seven weeks appear like it happens before the sixty-two weeks.  But in the Hebrew, the seven weeks simply appears before the sixty-two weeks.  Nothing in the text really requires the seven weeks to happen first.  There is a conjunction word between the seven and the sixty-two.  It can be translated as “then.”  But it can also be translated as “and”, “so”, “but”, or “that.”  This conjunction does not require the seven weeks to come first.  I prefer the use of the word "so", because the sixty-two weeks are given "so" the seven weeks can come.

Daniel prayed for the forgiveness of Israel's sins and for the desolation of Jerusalem to come to an end.   The sixty-two weeks of non-desolation for Jerusalem were given "so" that "your people" and "your holy city" could overcome sin and get ready for that end-time generation when the Messiah would come.  The Messiah came at his birth, which could have been the start of the final seven-week end-time generation.  But of course we know that when the original end-time generation came, the Jews were not ready to reign with Christ.  So, the final week had to wait on another end-time generation.  Today, we are living in that second end-time generation that will see the return of Christ.  This is the end-time generation that sees Jerusalem not being trampled on by Gentiles, just as promised to Daniel.  We are living in that final seven weeks of Daniel 9.

Daniel 9:25 ESV  Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks.  [SO] for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.

The thing I like about this translation is that it shows the relationship between the sixty-two weeks and Jerusalem being built in a troubled time.  The book of Nehemiah tells us all about the rebuilding of Jerusalem in a troubled time.  Likewise, this translation also seems to associate the coming of the “anointed one” with the seven weeks.

Another thing I like about this translation, as compared with the NIV, is that it doesn't use a definite article ("the") for "an anointed one, a prince."  Indefinite articles ("an" and "a") are used instead.  This allows for the Anointed One to be a different person from "a prince" (or "ruler.")  Verse 26 uses this same word "prince" or "ruler" in reference to the city and the sanctuary being destroyed.  The "prince" or "ruler" of verse 26 is obviously an antichrist.  So the "prince" or "ruler" of verse 25 can also be an antichrist.  After the seventy weeks of non-desolation for Jerusalem, the antichrist comes ushering in great tribulation.  At the same time, the Messiah comes ushering in the age to come and the Messianic reign, where the people of Israel (which is the Church) will reign with Christ for a thousand years.  But Christ does not set up his earthly kingdom until after the antichrist is destroyed seven years later.

From this perspective, the vision has a parallelism between Christ and the antichrist.  The parallelism can be seen best in this ESV translation.  Christ is bolded and underlined, and the antichrist is in bolded and in italics.

Daniel 9:25 ESV  Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks.  [SO] for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 

Daniel 9:26a ESV And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.

Daniel 9:26b ESV Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.

This end that comes like a flood and war is found in both Matthew 24 and Luke 21.  There are two end-time generations.  The generation of Christ and the end-time generation of today are both described in the same way.  There are many parallelisms between the two generations.  If the generation of Christ had not rejected the Messiah, then that generation would have been the generation that ushered in the age to come with the Messiah.  This vision of Daniel 9 works under either scenario.

During the 42 months that the antichrist reigns over the entire world, there will be no wars and rumors of wars because it will be a one-world government.  The Anointed One, and the "prince," both come at the same time, which is at the end of the seventy weeks, which is also the end of the seven weeks.  The vision treats Christ and the antichrist as a parallelism.  Now, follow the same parallelism in the two pronouns of the week of the covenant, which is after the end that comes like a flood (verse 26b), and after the continuous wars and rumors of wars (also verse 26b). 

Daniel 9:27 ESV And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering.  And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator." 

Dispensationalists interpret both pronouns in verse 27 as referring to the antichrist.  Their weakness is in the idea of an antichrist entering into a covenant.  Preterists, on the other hand, interpret both pronouns as referring to Christ.  Their weakness is in saying that Christ stopped the sacrifice and offering.  Christ made the sacrifice and offering no longer necessary.  But he didn't stop it from happening at the time of the crucifixion.

With the New Wine System, the truth hides in the middle.  The first pronoun refers to Christ, and the second pronoun refers to the antichrist.  The New Wine System argues that the two pronouns follow the same parallelism of Christ and antichrist, as in verses 25 and 26.  The order is consistent.  Christ makes a covenant with many for one week.  The antichrist stops the sacrifice and offering during the second half of that same week.  The abomination of desolation is set up on the wing of the temple, which is the gentile courtyard (Revelation 11:1-2).  And on the wing of this abomination, the antichrist makes Jerusalem desolate until the decree of Christ's judgment is poured out on the antichrist.

15.12) Two Generations

There has been a lot of debate over the differences and/or similarities between Matthew 24 and Luke 21.  These two accounts are often both called the Olivetti Discourse, even though only Matthew’s account says it happened on the Mount of Olives.  As will be shown, I believe these are two different discourses and are talking about two different generations.  Luke’s account is preached to the people at the temple.  Matthew’s account is given privately for the disciples only, and happens on the Mount of Olives.

The sixty-two weeks of Daniel 9 reflect the first generation after Herod’s death.  It’s the generation after the sixty-two weeks.  That generation was the generation of Christ.  That generation was born when Christ was born. That generation was adult during Christ’s ministry.  And that generation passed away in 70 AD when Jerusalem was destroyed.

The seven weeks of Daniel 9 reflect the second generation.  This generation is the baby-boom generation that was born right after World War II.  This generation was born when Israel became a nation again.  This generation was adult when Old Jerusalem was no longer trampled on by the Gentiles.  And this generation will not pass away before the return of Christ and the week of the covenant.

When we read Matthew 24, Jesus tells us to watch for the abomination of desolation, spoken of by the prophet Daniel.  A study of the abomination in Daniel points to a future time when the antichrist will erect a statue, on the temple mount, for the entire world to worship.  But when we look at the account in Luke 21, we get the preterist perspective.  Instead of the abomination of desolation, it speaks of Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, and its desolation being near.  The Jews were taken as prisoners to all the nations.  Obviously this was fulfilled in 70 AD.

The key to the problem is found in the original question that was asked by the disciples.  All of Matthew 24 and 25 was in answer to this question.  Remember that Matthew 24 was addressed privately to the disciples.  The disciples were wandering through the temple, looking at the buildings.  Jesus had just left the temple.  The disciples called his attention to the buildings.  Jesus said, "Do you see all these things?"  He asked, "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; everyone will be thrown down" (verse 2, NIV).

The disciples were in culture shock.  The temple was the greatest and most important thing they had ever known.  Its construction had started before they were born and was still under way.  The construction of this temple was not finished until 64 AD, just six years before it was destroyed.  From the disciple’s point of view, its destruction must be the end times.  They were speechless as the group went up the Mount of Olives, which is just outside the eastern gate leading from the temple mount.  It probably took about fifteen minutes to walk.

"As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately.  "Tell us," they said, "when will all this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?" (verse 3, NIV).  "All this happening" was the destruction of the temple. "Not one stone here will be left on another."  This is one question.  Another question is, "what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"  There are two fulfillments to the prophecy.  One is when the temple was destroyed in 70 AD.  The other is when Jesus returns.  The prophecy is true about both times.  I don't believe the disciples actually understood that they were asking more than one question.  But prophecy is prophecy.  God's word is God's word.  You ask the question, you get the answer to the question(s) you ask.

When we read Luke's account, we notice some differences.  Matthew's account reads, "So when you see standing in the holy place the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel..." (Matthew 24:15 NIV)  Luke's account instead reads, "When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies you will know that its desolation is near" (Luke 21:20 NIV).

Luke's account is primarily in answer to the first question.  Matthew's account is primarily in answer to the second question.

Matthew's account reads, "For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now - and never to be equaled again.  If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened" (Matthew 24:21-22 NIV).  Luke's account instead reads, "There will be a great distress in the land and wrath against this people.  They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations.  Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled" (Luke 21:23-24 NIV).

Matthew's account ends in victory.  Luke's account ends in defeat, but jumps in time to the point of victory.

The greatest distress of all time is at the end times, at the time of the resurrection.  It's a greater distress than in 70 AD.  Depending on how you measure distress, there has since been wars of much greater distress and scope than in 70 AD, even for the Jews.  Consider the Holocaust of World War II.  70 AD was not the greatest distress of all time.  Christ will return and save Jerusalem and his people.  This is Matthew's account.  A great distress, but not the greatest of all time, was in 70 AD.  That is when the Gentiles (Rome) conquered Jerusalem and the Jews were taken as prisoners to all the nations.  This is Luke's account.  Gentiles have trampled on Jerusalem from the death of Herod the Great until 1967, when Israel regained Jerusalem.  In other words, the trampling of Jerusalem began after Herod's death, and the desolation of Jerusalem was in 70 AD.  Then it all reversed in 1967, when Israel regained Jerusalem.

In Matthew’s account, Jesus gives this speech in private to the disciples, up on the Mount of Olives.  If you read Luke’s account, without letting Matthew’s account influence what you read, the speech is given in the temple.  Luke’s account was a warning to the people in Jerusalem.  Matthew’s account is a private warning to the disciples and the Church.

In Matthew’s account, we are told to watch for the abomination of desolation.  In Luke’s account, we are told to watch for the surrounding of Jerusalem by armies.  Well which one did Jesus say?  If both accounts are of the same speech, then we have a problem of Scriptural accuracy.  The text does not say to watch for, “the abomination of desolation, which is the surrounding of Jerusalem by armies.”  That’s not what the text says.  One text says one thing, and the other text says the other thing.  There are other examples of multiple accounts of the same event, as seen by different disciples.  There can be some minor differences in detail.  But the question of whether Jesus said to watch for the abomination or for the surrounding of Jerusalem is a more than just different perspective of the same event.  On the argument of Scriptural inerrancy alone, it must have been two different speeches.

So Matthew’s account must be more about the end time generation.  And Luke’s account must be more about the generation of Jesus.  In Luke’s account, the statement, "Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled," is our clue that the prophecy skips over time. It skips over the times of the Gentiles. From Luke's perspective, everything before this statement is about the generation of Jesus, and everything after this statement is about the end time generation.

The statement, "this generation shall not pass away," is given to the adult generation, both to the adult generation of Jesus, and to our adult generation today.  The baby boom generation that was born right after World War II had just reached adult age when Israel regained Jerusalem in 1967. Israel became a nation again right after World War II.

Basically, what we have here is a timeline as follows:

1) The adult generation of Jesus, that didn't pass away before 70 AD.

2) The continuation of time of the Gentiles, which began after Herod the Great died.  With the desolation of Jerusalem in 70 AD, the time of the Gentiles was irreversible.  Jerusalem would continue to be trampled on by the Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles was completed.

3) The baby-boom generation, born when Israel became a nation (1948), and the generation that saw the Jews regain Jerusalem when they were adults (1967).

The statement, "This generation shall certainly not pass away until all these things have happened," is applied to both generations!  And the time in between both generations is a continuation of the time of the Gentiles.  If you were born after World War II, the baby boom generation, you should live long enough to see the return of Christ Jesus and the great tribulation.

As you can see, the two-generation view of the Olivetti Discourse fits very nicely with the seven weeks split off from the sixty-two weeks.  Israel, at the time of Jesus’ generation, was not ready to reign with Christ during the Messianic age to come.  Jesus often referred to that generation as an evil generation.  In the age to come, Jerusalem will be the capital of the world.  But because of that evil generation, Jerusalem was trampled on by the Gentiles.  After that generation had passed away, Jerusalem was destroyed and became desolate.

Those who reign with Christ must do so entirely out of a love of God and neighbors.  They must reign completely without sin.  The time of the Gentiles was needed for the gospel of Jesus Christ to spread all over the world.  So the kingdom of heaven is in our hearts in preparation for the kingdom of heaven to literally come into the world.  Today, the good news of the kingdom is known, at least in part, in every nation of the world.  Before this baby-boom generation passes away, people from every nation, tribe, people, and language will have completely overcome sin through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  Therefore, when Christ sets up his earthly reign, he will have a Bride to rule over the nations with him.

After 1967, Jerusalem was no longer trampled upon by Gentiles.  Jerusalem is part of the “occupied territories” that was taken by Israel in 1967.  The Jews have not yet recognized Christ as the Messiah.  But they are Jews, not Gentiles.  So Jerusalem is no longer being trampled upon by Gentiles.  However, Jerusalem will be trampled upon again for 42 months (Rev. 11:2).  During the second-half of the seven-year period, Jerusalem will no longer be under the control of Israel.

Jesus said, “this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place.”  The adult generation of that day saw all these things fulfilled in 70 AD (Luke 21).  Jesus would have been about 75 years old at that time.  The baby-boom generation of Israel became adult and saw Jerusalem no longer being controlled by Israel in 1967.

The seven weeks are now being fulfilled during this rebirth of Israel.  The seven weeks began in 1967, as part of the answer to Daniel’s prayer for the desolation of Jerusalem to come to an end.  Seven weeks of years is 49 years.  1967 plus 49 is 2016.  The seventy weeks comes to an end in 2016.  Then we will have the week of the covenant after that.

15.13) Prophecies Are Conditional

As we have seen, there are two different generations that will not pass away before all these things take place.  One could say there are two different end-time generations.  Did Jesus know Jerusalem would be destroyed and that the "time of the Gentiles" would then continue for some time before he would return?  Of course Jesus knew, because he told us about it in Luke 21.  He predicted the Jews would be taken as prisoners to all the nations, which actually happened.  But consider the following verses:

Matthew 10:23 ESV  When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.

Matthew 16:28 ESV  Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.

Matthew 24:34 ESV  Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.

Was Jesus telling the disciples that he would return within their lifetimes?  These three verses would seem to say yes.  Full preterists start with these three verses and argue that Jesus did in fact come in 70 AD.  Did Jesus fail to keep his promise?  Full preterists, therefore, argue that Jesus actually did come (parousia) in 70 AD.  They say he came in the clouds, in the Great White Throne Judgment, when Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 tells us the resurrection happens before the coming (parousia) of Christ.  If Christ came in 70 AD, then the resurrection must also have occurred in 70 AD.  Full preterists therefore argue that the resurrection is not a physical body resurrection.  Would the Jews have believed that resurrection is not physical?  That's Greek culture.  After the resurrection of Christ, Jesus demonstrated that he was physical.  He ate with the disciples and allowed Thomas to touch his wounds.  The resurrection of the Church will be like that of Christ.

As one goes down this full-preterist rabbit hole, it gets worse.  2 Peter 3:1-13 relates the coming (parousia) of Christ to the time of the destruction of the heavens and the earth, and the creation of the new heavens and the new earth (verse 13).  Since full preterists believe the parousia (coming) of Christ was in 70 AD, then the new heavens and the new earth must also have been in 70 AD.  Full preterists believe the new heavens and the new earth is the new covenant.  In other words, just redefine a few terms and it all works out.  But it destroys God's plan to redeem his Creation from sin.

Paul tells us that Christ must reign until the last enemy is destroyed, which is death (1 Cor. 15:26).  Again, full preterists interpret this as something that was fulfilled in 70 AD.  Those living in heaven will not die, so the last enemy is destroyed, in heaven.  But sin and death will continue here on earth indefinitely.  Of course they say God could still do something about sin and death here on earth.  But all Bible prophecy has been fulfilled, so the Bible does not say what God might do in the future.  Would God leave the final victory over sin and death out of Scripture?  Would God leave us wondering if sin and death will ever really be defeated here on the earth?

Under the full preterist system, Satan continually receives souls that God has created and will be eternally tormented in hell.  There is no end in sight for this.  It could go on throughout eternity.  God just continues to create more souls to burn in hell.  Satan just keeps laughing all the way to the First National Bank of Hell.  And there is no end in sight for this.  The world just keeps getting worse and worse.  Is this really God's plan?  Is this what Jesus had in mind when he indicated that he would return in that generation?

At this point, one could argue that Jesus as a man may have really believed he would be able to return in their lifetimes, but that the Father in heaven would have known otherwise.  For Jesus to have returned in that generation would have required that those who sat on the seat of Moses to repent and acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah.  Obviously Jesus had hoped they would do so.  Jesus said he did not know the day or the time of his return.  Not even the angels knew.  Only the Father knew.  But Jesus did seem to be saying that he would return in that generation.  Jesus, as directed by the Holy Spirit, should not have made these promises that he would not be able to keep.  However, Jeremiah tells us that all prophecies concerning kingdoms and nations are conditional.

Jeremiah 18:7-10  At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up and to break down and to destroy it;  (8)  if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do to them.  (9)  At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;  (10)  if they do that which is evil in my sight, that they not obey my voice, then I will repent of the good, with which I said I would benefit them.

All prophecies concerning kingdoms and nations are conditional.  These prophecies are conditional upon obedience to God.  The prophecy does not need to explicitly state this condition.

As we have seen, Christ cannot return until those who sit on the seat of Moses say, “Blessed his he who comes in the name of the Lord.”  Therefore, any prophecy that Jesus made concerning the time of His return was conditional upon whether or not the scribes and Pharisees would repent during the next forty years.  There was no need to explicitly state this condition, because (A) the rules of prophecy do not require it, and (B) the disciples would have known that Jesus would not return if the Jewish leaders didn’t repent.  They would understand that he had hoped to return, but that it had become impossible for Him to do so.  They would not have felt they had been told a lie, because it was not a lie.  Jesus was simply speaking His heart’s desire.

This hermeneutic of conditional prophecy works much better than full preterism.  Why?  We should interpret Scripture not only by what is said, but in the way the Jewish audience of that day would have naturally understood.  They would have naturally understood that Jesus really would come, and be physically seen, in their lifetimes.  The disciples would not have interpreted Jesus as saying he would just come just in the clouds or come with judgment, or come in some spiritual way.  This is not what they would have naturally believed Jesus to be saying.  Did Jesus intentionally deceive or mislead them?

It works both ways.  Futurists must admit that the tricky ways to explain these verses are not what the disciples would have naturally believed.  Likewise, full preterists should realize that the words of Jesus must naturally be interpreted as a physical return in their lifetimes - not just in the clouds.  That's not what they would have understood.  Jesus was not deceiving them.  The words of Jesus should be interpreted like they would have naturally believed.  It simply became impossible for Christ to return when Jerusalem's time for repentance ran out.

Now, let's put this conditional aspect of prophecy back into our interpretation of Daniel 9.  The preterists view Daniel 9 as being entirely fulfilled.  The futurists read the same prophecy and say that some (or one) of the weeks are in the future.  Could the prophecy have been intentionally written so that it could be fulfilled either way?  In other words, Old Testament prophecy was written in a way that it allowed for, and even expected, the Jewish leaders to recognize the Messiah when he came.  But only in hindsight, we see aspects of Old Testament prophecy which allowed for and to some degree expect the Jewish leaders to reject the Messiah.  We all have true free-will to accept or reject Christ.  God does not pre-ordain anyone for the lake of fire.  This included the Jewish leaders at the time of Christ.  Prophecies of destruction and desolation are always conditional upon repentance.

Earlier, we discussed the purpose of Daniel's vision.

Daniel 9:24 NIV "Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.

The Jewish religious leaders failed to carry out this purpose.  They were too consumed with self-righteousness, which leads to hypocrisy.  And they did not recognize the Messiah.  Even after the crucifixion and resurrection, they still had time to repent.  The crucifixion and resurrection should have been seen as the sign of Jonah.  Nineveh was told by Jonah they would be destroyed in 40 days.  No condition was given in this prophecy.  However, the king of Nineveh repented and led his people to repentance.  God did not bring destruction in 40 days.  Did this make Jonah be a false prophet?  No, because prophecy is conditional upon repentance.  The prophecy of Jonah to Nineveh was conditional upon repentance even if not explicitly stated. 

Likewise, the prophecy of Israel’s second dispersion was conditional upon repentance.  The Jewish leaders should have "put an end to sin", endeavored to "bring in everlasting righteousness," and they should have "anointed the most holy."  They could have done so through the power of Christ's blood.  They had the free-will to repent.  God's prophecy of seventy weeks did not foreordain them to condemnation.  If they had repented, then Christ would have returned in that generation.  The seven weeks of Daniel 9 could have played out in that generation.  And the week of the covenant could have been fulfilled in that generation.  In other words, if the Jewish leaders had accepted Jesus as the Messiah, then the struggle with Rome could have led to the abomination of desolation and it would have ushered in the great tribulation and the resurrection.  The city and the sanctuary would probably have still been destroyed.  But Christ would have returned to save the Jewish people.  The Jews would not have been taken as prisoners to all the nations. 

Matthew 12:38-41  Then certain of the scribes and Pharisees answered, "Teacher, we want to see a sign from you."  (39)  But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, but no sign will be given it but the sign of Jonah the prophet.  (40) For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth(41)  The men of Nineveh will stand up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, someone greater than Jonah is here.

Nineveh was given 40 days to repent.  The Jewish leaders were given 40 years to repent.  The king of Nineveh repented.  The Jewish leaders did not repent.  The desolation of Jerusalem came 40 years after Christ was three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  The final seven weeks, which is the final (last) Jubilee, had to wait until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled.

15.14) The Week of the Covenant

With this conditional view of Daniel 9 in mind, let's go back and look again.

Daniel 9:25 ESV  Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks.  [SO] for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 

Daniel 9:26a ESV And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.

Daniel 9:26b ESV Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.

As we have seen, at the end of the seven weeks comes the Anointed One (Christ) and also the antichrist (a prince).  After the sixty-two weeks, Christ is born.  And later Christ would die on the cross.  The people of the antichrist who is to come destroys the city and the sanctuary.  Then end comes like a flood.  There are wars and rumors of wars until the end. 

By context, the end is the end of the entire seventy weeks.  The end of the seventy weeks (9:26b) is AFTER the city and the sanctuary is destroyed (9.26a).  In other words, 9:26a is about the people of the antichrist who is to come.  These people destroy the city and the sanctuary.   Then, verse 9:26b is about the end of the seventy weeks.  After verse 9:26b, the seventy weeks are completed.

But remember that the destruction of the Jewish people was conditional upon repentance of the Jewish leaders, just as the destruction of Nineveh was conditional upon repentance of the king of Nineveh.  (The Jewish leaders could have led the Jewish people to repentance, just as the king of Nineveh led the people of Nineveh to repentance.)  If there had been repentance, then the end of the seventy weeks would have happened back then.  The end would have come with a flood back then.  The seven weeks until the coming of the Anointed One would have occurred back then.  But without the repentance, the desolation of Jerusalem occurs, and return of Christ is delayed until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled.  Since the return of Christ moves into the future, the seven weeks also moves into the future.  That's because the seven weeks come just prior "to the coming of an Anointed One."

The desolation of Jerusalem was reversed in 1967.  In other words, these seven weeks that God promised to Daniel for the non-desolation of Jerusalem are happening right now.  Gentile believers are grafted into Israel.  So Israel, both Jew and Gentile, has these seven weeks "to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness."  These are things that "your people" must do before Christ can return.  "Your people" are the holy people of Israel.  And Church is Israel.  Israel (the Bride of Christ) must stop sinning before Christ sets up his earthly kingdom.

Today, however, most people in the Church are not much different than the world.  The Church of today's generation is not any better than the religious leaders of Christ's generation, except for one difference.  The Church does believe Jesus is the Messiah.  So we do have hope, whereas the religious leaders of Christ's generation did not recognize the Messiah.  Or those who did were not willing to acknowledge Christ as the Messiah out of pride and the desire to protect their power.  (Paul was an exception.)  However, most of the Church today is deceived about the need to overcome all sinful habits in our lives before Christ returns.

No doubt the seventy weeks will complete, and the majority of the Church will still be deceived by sin.  The New Jerusalem will appear but the Bride will not be ready.  Only a few will have found the narrow gate.  For this reason, Christ must confirm a covenant for one more week, after the seventy weeks.  The seventy weeks are over in verse 9:26b.  Then we have one more week in 9:27.

Daniel 9:26b ESV Its end shall come with a flood, and to the end there shall be war. Desolations are decreed.

Daniel 9:27 ESV And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering.  And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator." 

Remember the parallelism discussed in the section titled, "The Messiah vs. the Prince (or Ruler)."  The first pronoun refers to Christ.  The second pronoun refers to the antichrist.  So the end (of the seventy weeks) comes, and then Christ makes a covenant with many for one more week.  We can also see the "end" coming before the week of the covenant in the words of Jesus.

Matthew 24:6 ESV  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet.

Notice how this verse parallels Daniel 9:26b?  Then, a few verses down, we read:

Matthew 24:14-15 ESV  And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come(15)  "So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),

The end comes.  After that, we will see the abomination of desolation.  (The desolation relates to the desolation of Jerusalem, which was the subject of Daniel's prayer.)  The abomination of desolation is in the middle of the additional week for which Christ confirms a covenant with many.

Why does Christ confirm a covenant for a week with many?  It's because his Church, which is Israel, is not ready for Christ to return at the end of the seventy weeks.  In response to Daniel's prayer for the forgiveness of Israel's sins, God promises Daniel seventy weeks of non-desolation for Jerusalem.  In other words, the Church has it relatively easy.  Great tribulation has not yet come.  But in our relatively easy lives, the Church has become sinful just as Old Testament Israel did throughout her history.  At the end of the time allotted for Israel to overcome sin, only a remnant in the Church are ready for Christ to return.  So Christ must make a covenant for one more week.  But during that week Jerusalem will again be trampled upon by the Gentiles for 42 months (Revelation 11:2).

Today, relatively few in the Church have overcome all their sinful habits and are thus ready for Christ to return.  It's only through great tribulation that the many of the Church will be made ready for Christ to return.

The ESV (quoted above) renders the covenant as a "strong" covenant.  However, I don't think that's what is being said in the Hebrews.  I asked a friend of mine (Alexis Nicole Carter) to translate the verses as literally as she could, without having much preconception as to the meaning.  (She did not have a strongly held belief as to the interpretation of the verse.)  Here is the translation of verse 27 that my friend did for me:

(27) And he will confirm a covenant to many, one seven, and a half of the seven and sacrifice and offering he will cause to cease and on a wing of abominations one will make desolate (desolate is a participle, and the peculiar thing is that it is not grammatically modifying the entire phrase, but only "abominations") and until he finishes and that which is decided will be poured upon [the] desolate.

Carter made this comment about the covenant with many:

***It seems that it is mostly likely "and he will confirm the covenant to many ones"--> but the word can mean great ones, but scholars apparently think it is the former. There is no "strong covenant" translation from the Hebrew here, it is reading into the text.

The ESV, quoted above, renders the verse as a "strong covenant with many."  But Carter said there is a problem with that translation.  The word for "many" people can also mean "strong" people.  But most translations render it as "many."  The problem here is that the same word for "strong" (or "many") is also used to say it's a "strong covenant."  You can't use the same word to mean it's a strong covenant, and at the same time it's with "many" people.  It's the exact same word in the Hebrew, and the word does not appear twice.

Why do some translations say it's a strong covenant with many?  Translators have often viewed this prophecy from the preterist perspective.  They would agree that the covenant is made by Christ.  But it tends to be associated with the time of the crucifixion and not the future.  Did Christ make a new covenant at the time of the cross?  Well, yes there is the new covenant.  But did the new covenant last for only seven years?  Thus, preterists tend to think of the covenant being strengthened for seven years.  In other words, during the seven-year period with the cross in the middle, the new covenant was strengthened.  But it was not limited to seven years.  Thus, preterist translators have cheated and used the same word for both the strengthening of the covenant and for the covenant being with "many."

However, Carter said the Hebrew text does not support the idea of an existing covenant being strengthened.  A covenant is made for one week.  So it can't be a strengthening of the new covenant.  And it's not a "strong" covenant.  Christ makes a covenant with "many" for one week.  And by context, the week-long covenant seems to be after the end of the seventy weeks.

So after the seven weeks there is one more week.  During the seven weeks of the non-desolation of Jerusalem, relatively few in the Church overcome all their sinful habits and are thus ready for Christ to return.  But during the week of the covenant, many in the Church become ready for Christ to return.  (The trumpets serve as a wake-up call for the Church.  And tribulation tends to bring about either rebellion or holiness.)

Revelation 7:3-4 NIV  "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God."  (4)  Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel.

The same can be seen in Revelation.  In Revelation chapter 7, we see a progression from 144,000 to a "countless number."  The 144,000 are sealed before there is any harm to the land, the seas, or the trees (Rev. 7:3).  Harm to the land, sea, and trees is the first two trumpet-plagues (Rev. 8:7-8).  Then later, we see a "countless number" who have "come out of the great tribulation" (Rev. 8:13-14).  To come out of the great tribulation requires one to have been in the great tribulation.

Revelation 7:9 NIV  After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.

In other words, 144,000 are ready for Christ to return when the final seven weeks of the seventy are finished.  After the seven weeks the Messiah comes (which means Anointed One).  But so does the prince (antichrist).

Daniel 9:25 ESV  Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks.  [SO] for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 

Revelation 14:4 NIV  These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb.

Revelation 7:13-14 NIV  Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes--who are they, and where did they come from?"  (14)  I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

The Messiah comes and 144,000 are found to be ready.  This is a relatively small number as compared to the full number in the Church.  So Christ makes a covenant with the "many" for one more week before he actually sets foot on the Mount of Olives and destroys the antichrist.  During the first half, the two witnesses preach for 1260 days.  We know the world is terrified during this time because when they are killed at the end of the 1260 days, the whole world celebrates by exchanging gifts.  (Does this replace Christmas?)  Then the abomination of desolation is set up and the whole world is made to worship the beast and to take the mark of the beast.  This great tribulation lasts for 42 months.  But it changes the Church.  The Church gets ready for Christ to return.

I believe the New Jerusalem will come at the end of the seven weeks, just as the prophecy says.  The Anointed One will come.  (But at the same time, the prince, the false-prophet antichrist, will also come.)  The whole world will be terrified when the New Jerusalem appears.  The two witnesses will preach holiness.  Many of the people in the churches will resist, saying that holiness is not required to be a Christian.  Many will deny that the New Jerusalem appearing in orbit around the earth is the return of Christ.  But the 144,000 will literally be with Christ (Rev. 14:1), face to face.  Those in the churches who still have sinful habits will have to decide if they are going to follow Christ or deny that Christ has returned.  But during at least the first half of the week of the covenant, Christ will remain in the New Jerusalem, in orbit around the earth.  He will not come all the way to the Mount of Olives until after the seven-year period.  After the seven-year period, he will gather the countless number up in the rapture.  Then we will have the wedding banquet in the New Jerusalem.  And then Christ will return to the Mount of Olives, with the holy ones, to defeat the antichrist at Armageddon.

15.15) The People of the Prince

We need to tie up one loose end.  The "people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary."  This sentence of Daniel's vision has been discussed quite a bit with regard to the debate as to whether the end-time government will be a revived Roman empire or a revived Islamic Caliphate.  Dispensationalists point out that Jerusalem and the temple were destroyed in 70 AD by Rome.  The prince who is to come in the end times must be a Roman.  They argue that at least he must be from Europe and rule over a revived Roman empire.

Joel Richardson has argued that the people who actually destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, for the most part, were not actually Romans.  According to Josephus, the Roman Empire recruited locals from around the middle-east into their army.  The actual people who destroyed the city and the sanctuary were not Romans, but were from the middle-east.  Thus, it is argued, the end-time prince who will come will actually himself be from the middle-east.  No doubt the Mahdi will rule over the middle-east.  And of course he will be from the middle-east, perhaps Turkey.  He is probably the false prophet of Revelation.  So this end-times antichrist is from the middle-east.  And his people from the end-times is the same Arab ethnicity as the people who destroyed the city and the sanctuary in 70 AD.

Perhaps this is true.  But it comes across like one is trying to side-step the argument on a technicality.  Even if the people who destroyed the city and the sanctuary were from the middle-east, the ruler (prince), who commanded these people was a Roman.  A natural reading of this text does seem to indicate the prince, which is to come, will be Roman.  Even if the people were middle-eastern, the prince was Roman.  These middle-eastern people would have been under the command of a Roman prince.

Preterists believe the seventy weeks of Daniel 9 was entirely fulfilled by 70 AD.  As a matter of fact, Preterists believe the seventy weeks are all contiguous, and that the crucifixion was right in the middle of the seventh week.  So they have a problem with the fact that the city and the sanctuary were destroyed some 40 years later. 

But the text does seem to indicate that the end-times prince is the one who destroyed the city and the sanctuary, which has to be Roman.  Notice the “coming” of the prince in verse 25 would naturally be read as the “prince who is to come” in verse 26a.  Both verses seem to be talking about the same “prince” who is to come. Assuming that the text is not to be interpreted with Preterism, the text seems to be saying prince which is to come, in the end times, is the same prince which destroyed the city and the sanctuary.  At least the prince of the end-times would also be the prince (Caesar) of the Roman Empire at the time of 70 AD. 

Daniel 9:25 ESV  Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks.  [SO] for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time. 

Daniel 9:26a ESV And after the sixty-two weeks, an anointed one shall be cut off and shall have nothing. And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.

An alternative view is to acknowledge that the people of the ruler were really under Roman command, and thus were acting as Romans.  Thus, the end-times antichrist ruler that will come was once a Roman ruler.  What if a Roman ruler, who has been dead for all these years, were to come up out of the Abyss to become the antichrist?

Revelation 17:8 NIV  The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.

Thus, the prince (or ruler) who is to come was once a Roman emperor.  He once was, but now he is dead.  Yet he will come out of the Abyss to become the end-times beast.  He once was, not is not, yet he will come again.  Does this mean the Roman ruler who will come must be the same person as the one who destroyed the city and the sanctuary in 70 AD?  No, I think that’s why the text says the “people of the ruler” destroys Jerusalem.  The ruler could be another Roman emperor.  It’s still the same Roman people who destroyed the city and the sanctuary.

We should remember that John wrote Revelation after the destruction of the city and the sanctuary.  (Preterists argue that Revelation was written prior to the destruction.  But the evidence is much stronger for the late-date writing of Revelation.)  We should also remember that the title, “Emperor Nero” adds up to 666.  We should also remember that the early Church actually believed Nero would return to become the end-times antichrist.  (See section 27.7, titled “The Mark of the Beast and the Number of his Name.”  Also refer to section 30.1, titled “Once Was, Now is Not, Will Come Again.”)  Given the fact that the early church believed Nero would return to be the antichrist, and given the fact that Revelation was written after Nero’s death, how would the above verse in Revelation have been interpreted by the audiences of John in that day and time? 

We must also note that John would have been very familiar with the seventy weeks of Daniel 9.  John wrote Revelation at a time when the destruction of Jerusalem would have been a horrible personal memory.  How would John have interpreted, “The people of the prince who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary?”  All Scripture, including Daniel and Revelation, must be interpreted in the context of the historical time and culture of the author.

The evidence is strong that the antichrist will suffer a fatal wound and will be healed.  In other words, he will be brought back to life.  But he won’t be the same man.  He will have the soul of Nero.  But that doesn’t mean that the antichrist will be Roman, or that there will be a revived Roman empire.  It will be a revived Islamic Caliphate.  And the antichrist will enforce Islam and let the false prophet (the coming Mahdi) lead the world into Islam.

 

Philip Brown
www.newwine.org

 

 

 

Dividor

 

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Book Cover
Table of Contents
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Introduction
First Chapter
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Book Cover
Table of Contents
(Read the book online)
Introduction
View  or  
Download the PDF eBook
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Philip Brown     Click to email me.

 

Overcome sin, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!