Understanding the Seventieth Week of Daniel Evangelist Jordan Wells

Understanding the Seventieth Week of Daniel Evangelist Jordan Wells

Understanding the Seventieth Week of Daniel Evangelist Jordan Wells 440 171 The Voice Of The Prophetic

Understanding this prophecy is the key to understanding what is happening and what is about to happen on this earth. There will be a peace agreement reached in the Middle East. It will be seven years in length. This event in Scripture is called the Daniel Seventieth Week prophecy. When reached this will start the final seven years to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. You might be asking where does he get this from, in the Bible, or is that just his theory? Most Bible prophecy teachers and most Christians agree that there are seven last years of “trouble,” or “tribulation,” that will overtake planet earth just before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Those seven years are divided up into two parts of about 3 1/2 years each. The first period of 3 1/2 years will be relatively peaceful because the Antichrist will not be in full control and will only be rising to power. During this time, the Jews will get to rebuild their third temple on Temple Mount, which will be placed under a sharing arrangement (Revelation 11). Christians also disagree if the church of God will see the events of this period fulfilled. Many prophecy teachers teach that the church will not see this period because we will be safely in heaven during the entire tribulation period. They teach that the tribulation is for the Jews, not for the church. However, I do not agree with this theory, which I believe could be one of the biggest deceptions of the end-time. Now do not get me wrong, I would love to be wrong on this issue, and if I was even though I know I am not, I will see you in glory in the rapture, and we can eat popcorn in heaven as we watch these events unfold. To see this prophecy more clearly and to see what it means to us in the time of the end, let’s look at some of the prophecies about this time. Jordan Wells 48 The prophet Daniel says the word of the Lord came to another prophet Jeremiah specifying that God “would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem” (Dan. 9:2). Daniel wanted to understand the prophecy given to Jeremiah; so he prayed about it. God sent the angel Gabriel (Dan. 9:21) who told him, “understand the matter, and consider the vision. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city” (Dan. 9:23–24). Then, as he goes on to explain the vision of the desolations Gabriel continues to speak of it in terms of “weeks,” rather than “years.” When God spoke to Jeremiah, he called it “seventy years” (see Jer. 25:11–12); and when Gabriel spoke to Daniel, he said it was “seventy weeks.” Since both “weeks” and “years” are used in reference to the same period of time, we must think of it as weeks of years. In our mind, this may seem strange; but to the Jewish mind it was not unusual at all. They were accustomed to thinking in terms of “sevens,” and even in terms of “weeks of years.” Their thinking is based on their belief in the Sabbath; and they applied the concept of the Sabbath to days, and weeks; as well as years. For example, at the end of each week, every seven days, there is a Sabbath day. And, at the end of every seven years, there is a Sabbath year. The Lord told Moses, “Six years shalt thou sow thy field…But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land” (Lev. 25:3–4). Then, the Lord went on to say, “And thou shalt number seven sabbaths of years unto thee, seven times seven years; and the space of the seven sabbaths of years shall be unto thee forty and nine years” (Lev. 25:8). The Lord gave the Jews the concept of seven Sabbaths, or seven weeks of years. He then further defined it as “seven times seven years” or “forty and nine years.” Jesus and Peter understood the concept. When Peter asked the Lord, “How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?” Jesus responded by telling him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but until seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:21–22) How long, then, is the “seventy weeks of years” of the prophecy Daniel wants us to understand? A week of years is seven years long; so, seventy weeks of years is seventy times seven: or 490. Through the angel Gabriel, God is telling Daniel that there will be a total of 490 years of desolation “determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city” (Dan. 9:24). Since the Jews are in mind, many prophecy teachers explain away the churches purpose during this time, out of fear of suffering. God’s holy city, Jerusalem, is the focus of this Living in the Final Chapter 49 prophecy; but the events foretold in it will have an impact on the entire world and especially on the church in the end times. Although the angel is speaking of the Jews and Jerusalem, we can be certain that anything that affects Jerusalem will affect the entire world. Jesus taught and died in Jerusalem, yet his life and death have, in one way or another, touched the entire world. And even the prophecies about the Antichrist center on Jerusalem and will also have an affect on the whole world. Daniel’s Prophecy So, let’s go on to see why Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy weeks of years; and especially the seven last years, are so important to us. In his explanation of the vision, Gabriel first tells Daniel how we will know the 490 years is over. Then, he goes back to tell about it from when it begins to when it ends. We will know the prophecy is ended when its purpose is fulfilled; and Gabriel says what the purpose of the seventy weeks of years is a number of interrelated things. He says it is “to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy” (Dan. 9:24). Once these things are done, the prophecy will be fulfilled: it will be over. The years of desolation will be complete. There are false teachers who teach that this prophecy has been completely fulfilled in the Messiah. However, there are several reasons why this prophecy could not have been fulfilled; we still need visions and the prophecies of the Bible. This prophecy also says we will know this prophecy is fulfilled when sin is done away with. I promise you, all you have to do is turn on the news and see that sin is alive and better than ever. When we get to the millennial reign of Christ chapter, you will find out there are even people who teach that there will be no millennial reign. This is what happens when you get sinful people who are trying to understand the perfect word of a Holy All Powerful God. That the only event in the history of the world that will fulfill the end of the vision is the return of Jesus and the judgment of the wicked. Is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that transgression, sin and iniquity will be with us until the end? Everlasting righteousness cannot come in until Jesus returns. Vision and prophecy will be with us also; but Jordan Wells 50 it will end and be of no more purpose when the most Holy, Jesus Christ, is anointed as “King of Kings, and Lord of Lord” (Rev. 19:16). So, the prophecy will be complete when he returns. The 490 years “determined” by God will then be over. The seventy weeks of years will then be finished. But when does it begin? The Commandment to Rebuild Jerusalem The Angel Gabriel says the 490 years will start or begin with a commandment to rebuild Jerusalem. He says, “Know therefore and understand from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks” (Dan. 9:25). We will look more at the “Messiah the prince,” which obviously is Jesus; and at the “seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks” a little later. For now, let’s focus on when the commandment was given to see when the prophecy started. Nehemiah was a Jewish cupbearer for Artaxerxes, king of Persia. When fellow Jews told Nehemiah, “the wall of Jerusalem… is broken down, and the gates thereof are burning with fire” (Neh. 1:3), he approached the king and told him of his concern and love for the city. When the king offered to help, Nehemiah said, “Send me unto Judah, unto the city of my father’s sepulchers, that I may build it.” Then he reports that, “it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time” (Neh. 2:5–6). So, Nehemiah went to Jerusalem to fulfill his mission (Neh. 2:11). This is the commandment “to restore and to build Jerusalem” and we’re told it took place in “the twentieth year of Artaxerxes” (Neh. 2:1). Historians tell us he became king of Persia in 465 bc; so, the twentieth year of his reign would be 445 bc exactly. And, as we know, the time of Daniel’s prophecy is not yet fulfilled because it ends with the return of Jesus when he makes “an end of sins” and brings in “everlasting righteousness.” The 490 years began way back in 445 bc. We’re now in the early 2000s. So far the prophecy has stretched out over 2,450 years and Jesus hasn’t returned yet to bring us to the end of it. We need to understand how 490 years of prophecy can be spread out over that much time. A Gap of Time in Prophecy The only conclusion we can draw is that there is a gap of time somewhere within the prophecy itself. By looking at other prophecies, we see that this is not at all unusual. Isaiah prophesies the birth of the Living in the Final Chapter 51 Messiah when he says, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.” Then, without a break in the structure of the sentence, he speaks of the future of the Messiah when he says, “the government shall be upon his shoulder” (Isa. 9:6). There’s another example of a gap of time within a prophecy that is given to us by Jesus himself. In Isaiah 61, we read, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good things unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound: To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God” (Isa. 61:1–2). When Jesus was in the synagogue in Nazareth, his home town, he stood up to read that very passage (See Luke 4:16). But, he didn’t read it all. He finished reading the part that says, “To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,” then, we’re told he “closed the book” and said, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:20–21). He stopped reading and closed the book because to read the rest of it would be to proclaim the “day of vengeance of our God.” He knew that “day” had not yet come; and he was not about to proclaim that it had. So, he stopped in the middle of a sentence. He knew there was a gap of time within the prophecy; so he stopped reading and closed the book. So we can see that a gap is not unusual in Jewish thought, or in biblical prophecy. The first prophecy was given concerning Christ in Genesis, and was not fulfilled for thousands of years into Jesus arrived on the scene. Within Daniel’s prophecy, there is also a gap of time; so let’s continue on to see what we can learn about the rest of the prophecy and about that gap of time. As we noted above, Gabriel tells Daniel “that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks” (Dan. 9:24). If we figure that out, it’s sixty-nine weeks of years from the time of the commandment to the coming of the Messiah. And, as we’ve seen, the commandment was given in 445 bc, so let’s look ahead of that date to see when the Messiah comes on the scene. As Christians, we believe that Jesus of Nazareth was—and is—the Messiah, the savior of the world. So it makes sense to look at his life for the fulfillment of this part of Daniel’s prophecy. He was not honored as the Messiah at any point in his life except one. He was not honored at his birth in a lowly stable in Bethlehem. He was not honored during Jordan Wells 52 his teaching ministry when he was always at odds with the scribes and Pharisees: the leaders of the people. He was certainly not honored during his trial by the Jews, at his death on a cross outside the city, or even at his resurrection back to life. The Messiah the Prince It appears that the “Messiah the prince” was honored only once as the Messiah: when he rode into Jerusalem on the colt of an ass in fulfillment of a prophecy which reads, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion… behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass” (Zech. 9:9). Even then, of course, not everyone in the Jewish nation joined in rejoicing at the coming of Jesus. Probably most of them didn’t turn out for this event. Only those “faithful few,” called the “daughter of Zion” recognized him and proclaimed him to be the Messiah, the King. At that time in history, as Isaiah says, “The Lord (had) proclaimed unto the end of the world, say ye to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, thy salvation cometh’” (Isa. 62:11). The “daughter of Zion” proclaimed him to be King when “they brought (the colt) to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh unto ( Jerusalem) the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice… saying, ‘Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest” (Luke 19:37–38). On that day, at the end of the prophetic sixty-nine weeks of years, the “faithful few” proclaimed Jesus to be the Messiah, the King who “cometh in the name of the Lord.” So, what year was that; and does it fit into the prophecy of Daniel? On page 25 of his small book called “Daniel’s Prophecy of the 70 Weeks,” Dr. Alva J. McClain shows calculations that indicate the sixty-nine weeks of years ended in the year 32 ad. You’re free to look it up for yourself; but, briefly, here’s how it works. God’s prophetic calendar contains 360 days a year. Our calendar has 365 days plus regular leap years of 366 days each. In prophetic time sixty-nine weeks of years equals 483 years. When we transpose those prophetic years to our calendar it comes out to 476 years. Those 476 years brings us from 445 bc (when the commandment went forth) to the year 32 ad: the year Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the colt of an ass. Living in the Final Chapter 53 Next in the prophecy, Gabriel prophesies that the death of Jesus and the destruction of Jerusalem would come at a later time. He says, “after threescore and two weeks [which follow the seven weeks of verse 25] shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself; and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary” (Dan. 9:26). The Messiah, Jesus, was “cut off ” from the living at the end of the sixty-ninth week (in ad 32); and sometime later, the Roman people, under General Titus, destroyed Jerusalem in ad 70. The Last Week of Years Gabriel then skips through time and speaks of the last week of years: the last seven years that are still left unfulfilled in the prophecy. Without a break in the structure of the prophecy, he tells of a “week of years” (7 years) that brings us to the end. He says a person “shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate” (Dan. 9:27). The gap of time we spoke of earlier between the 69th and 70th week stretches all the way from the time of Jesus to what the prophecy calls “the consummation” when the judgment God has determined, or decided, “shall be poured upon the desolate” upon the wicked of the world. Any good dictionary will tell us that the “consummation” of something is its end; and, we all know that God won’t pour out his judgment until the end. So, the prophecy finally brings us to the 70th and last week of “the seventy (weeks of ) years” that God said he will “accomplish in the desolations of Jerusalem” (Dan. 9:2). This 70th week of Daniel: the time of desolation, also known as the time of trouble, or the tribulation, as we said earlier, will center on Jerusalem; but will affect the whole world. The prophet Isaiah points this out when he says, “Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it… the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies” (Isa. 34:1–2). The Prince That Shall Come As you probably remember, we were told that, “in the midst of the week (a person) shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate” (Dan. 9:27). Jordan Wells 54 Please note: there are two people mentioned in Daniel’s prophecy; both called a prince. There is “Messiah the prince” (Dan. 9:25) and “the prince that shall come” (Dan. 9:26). The “prince that shall come” cannot be the same person as “Messiah the prince” because it is the “people of the prince that shall come” who destroy Jerusalem after the death of the Messiah. As we know, Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 ad by the Roman people, not the Jewish people; so the “prince that shall come” can’t be the Jewish Messiah; but some great prince who will arise, in some way, out of the re-risen Roman Empire in the time of the end. We don’t really need to speculate for long about the identity of this coming “Roman prince.” He is the Antichrist who operates through and by the power of Satan. As we know, Antichrist means “opposed to,” or “the enemy of Christ.” The Book of Revelation says, “The dragon (Satan) gave him (Antichrist) his power, and his seat, and great authority” (Rev. 13:2). As Daniel says, he will rise to power and demonstrate that power in the middle of the seven last years: “in the midst of the week.” In another place, Daniel describes a “vile person” (Dan. 11:21) who “works deceitfully” (Dan. 11:23) and, when “arms shall stand on his part,” he “take(s) away the daily sacrifice, and… place(s) the abomination that maketh desolate” (Dan. 11:31). He says this person “shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvelous things against the God of gods” (Dan. 11:36). He is the “little horn” who “speak(s) great words against the most High” (Dan. 7:8 & 25). He is the “little horn” by whom “the daily sacrifice (is) taken away” (Dan. 8:11). And, he is the beast of Revelation to whom is given “a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies” (Rev. 13:5). “He open(s) his mouth in blasphemy, to blaspheme his (God’s) name” (Rev. 13:6). This is the “prince that shall come” (Dan. 9:26). This is the Antichrist. Paul the apostle also tells about him. He says that in the time of the end a man will be revealed “who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped… shewing himself that he is God” (II Thess. 2:4). Paul says that in God’s perfect timing “that Wicked (shall) be revealed” (See II Thess. 2:6–8). When that happens, we will know him for who he is: the Antichrist: “the man of sin… the son of perdition” (II Thess. 2:3). A Covenant Confirmed Living in the Final Chapter 55 It will be the Antichrist, “the prince that shall come” who will confirm a covenant of some kind at, or near, the beginning of the seven last years. Daniel’s prophecy says, “He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week (7 years: the 70th week of years)” (Dan. 9:27a). Some believe this covenant is a political peace treaty in which the Antichrist is involved. They say he will either make the covenant himself; or will at the very least, confirm it in some way. Since the prophecy says he will “confirm” it, it’s most likely he will help make it work rather than actually being a party to the treaty itself. Daniel does speak of a “league” being made with the Antichrist, after which “he shall work deceitfully” (Dan. 11:23). And, he tells of two kings whose “hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table” (Dan. 11:27). This indicates there could well be a political component to the story. But, let’s consider the fact that it is also called a “holy covenant.” After the two kings “speak lies at one table,” we’re told that the heart of the Antichrist “shall be against the holy covenant;” and we’re also told he will “have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant” (Dan. 11:28 & 30). A covenant is an agreement between two or more people; and a holy covenant is an agreement between man and God. This covenant, therefore, has a religious component that is somehow intermingled with the politics of the “two kings” who lie to each other and apparently don’t want the covenant to work because there is “mischief in their hearts.” Perhaps the Antichrist takes part in confirming a political treaty while allowing himself to be thought of as a man of God. Perhaps he will profess to be a man of faith; and may truly believe in the God of heaven at the beginning of the seven last years when he “confirms” the covenant; but will have a change of heart later and “have indignation against the holy covenant.” We’re told he will set God aside; and will “exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god” (Dan. 11:36). Some people, with a different interpretation of Daniel’s prophecy altogether, say this “covenant” was made by Jesus when he began his earthly ministry; and that, by his death, he caused the Jewish “sacrifice to cease.” But, there is no reference of any kind to such a “covenant” in the Gospels; and the death of Jesus certainly did not stop the Jewish sacrifices from taking place. Also, the one who causes the “sacrifice to cease” is the same person who “causes the abomination of desolation”: an act in which Jesus would certainly never be involved. Jordan Wells 56 Those same people also say that the one who “confirms the covenant,” according to their interpretation, is “Messiah the prince”: Jesus. But, any covenant, or covenants, God has with his people, whether Jew or Christian, are everlasting; and are certainly not limited to only seven years. As we have said, the one who confirms the covenant for seven years is the Roman prince: “the one who shall come”: the Antichrist. The End of the Seven Last Years At the end of the seven last years, at the time of “the consummation, (when that which has been) determined shall (have been) poured upon the desolate” (Dan. 9:27b) when God has finished punishing the wicked by pouring out his wrath on them, Jesus will come from heaven toward earth—in the clouds—the church will have been raptured before the wrath of God is poured out on the wicked, Jesus will then return with his church in all power. When Jesus was being lifted up to heaven after his resurrection, his disciples watched as “he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). Then two angels told them that “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11). And, he will return just as the angels said he would. The Book of Mark tells it in the shortest fashion. It says, “After that tribulation… then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven” (Mark 13:24–27). Paul the apostle says, “The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangels, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (I Thess. 4:16–18). The end of sin is at the door. Jesus Christ is about to set in motion the final phase of his plan to cleanse the world of the destruction Satan has caused. During the course of the rest of this book, we will see and explore the final phase of God’s plan for this earth. This period will not be a vacation and will take a dedicated relationship with Christ to endure. Lukewarm Christians will not make it through this period, they will give Living in the Final Chapter 57 in to the laws of the Antichrist in order to save their own life. However, the Bible does tell us that there will be a large number of saints that will make it through this period. The Bible also tells us how they overcame, which was by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimonies. Revelation 12:11 They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. (niv) And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. (nlt) And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

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