The 70 weeks of Daniel - Page 2
We previously read how Spanish Jesuit Francisco Ribera wrote fictional prophecy with the sole purpose of taking the attention off the Papal Church after they had been identified as antichrist with the Protestant reformation. Ribera chose the 70 weeks of Daniel prophecy as his choice of scripture to distort and deceive. The following is how the 70th week of Daniel was abused.
The purpose was to place antichrist in the future or the past. The real truth of antichrist is that it is not merely a single individual, but was a system of apostasy and persecution that would rule for more than twelve centuries. Those who studied these Bible prophecies before and during the Protestant Reformation, came to the inevitable conclusion that there was only one entity that fits all the characteristics: the Papal dynasty of the Roman Catholic Church. Is it any wonder this Church was so violently opposed to the scriptures being available for everyone to read for themselves? There was such a stir created during the reformation that the Fifth Lateran Council (1512-17 A.D.) resorted to strictly forbidding anyone to publish a book without prior censorship, and also prohibited anyone from preaching on the subject of antichrist. The purpose of Preterism and Futurism was to be diversionary and offset the Protestant Historicism interpretation with alternatives no matter how implausible they might be.
The result is evidenced from this diagram, which shows all three teachings concerning antichrist. Alcazar's Preterism identifies the antichrist as Nero while Ribera's futurism puts the antichrist into a future 3.5 literal years. Both interpretations put antichrist outside the Middle Ages and the reformation period, identified by Protestant historicists as the 1260 prophetic year reign of antichrist.
The truly amazing part of all this is that the Futurist theory dominates Protestant teaching today. Almost all you hear or read about today is the yet to appear antichrist, who will be unveiled in the last 3.5 years of Daniel's 70th week, when he declares himself to be God in a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. That scenario is directly traceable back to the pen of the Jesuit Francisco Ribera who manufactured this theory for the sole purpose of diverting attention from the papacy. Note what one Protestant writer had to say:
“It is a matter for deep regret that those who hold and advocate the Futurist system at the present day, Protestants as they are for the most part, are thus really playing into the hands of Rome, and helping to screen the Papacy from detection as the Antichrist. It has been well said that 'Futurism tends to obliterate the brand put by the Holy Spirit upon Popery.' More especially is this to be deplored at a time when the Papal Antichrist seems to be making an expiring effort to regain his former hold on men's minds.” Daniel and the Revelation: The Chart of Prophecy and Our Place In It, A Study of the Historical and Futurist Interpretation, by Joseph Tanner, published in London by Hodder and Stoughton, 1898, pages 16, 17.
In what could only be described as a stunning reversal, Protestants have over time actually become the Papacy's greatest ally by spreading its Jesuit spawned propaganda. What irony that Protestants, who originally broke away from what they clearly recognized to be the harlot antichrist led Church of prophecy, now champion the Futurist interpretation from high profile ministries. Futurism has beyond doubt, been successful beyond the wildest dreams of its Jesuit authors. See also who is the antichrist today.
So in Daniel's 70 week prophecy, we have 7 weeks + 62 weeks and that leaves “one week” left, otherwise known as the famous “70th week of Daniel.” Again, that highly controversial text literally reads:
Daniel 9:27 “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease…”
On the day for a year principle (which we have seen is valid), the “one week” remaining in this prophecy as we know refers to a period of seven years. Pro-rapture promoters claim this is a seven year period of tribulation. Their idea is that while the first 69 weeks (or 483 years) did reach to the first coming of Jesus Christ, the prophetic clock had stopped because the Jewish people largely rejected Him. Then they slide the 70th week of Daniel (the last seven years) all the way down to the end times, call it the tribulation and say it applies to the Jewish people after we are gone. Rapture teachers interpret Daniel 9:27 as follows:
“He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week.” “He” is the antichrist who will make a covenant (or peace treaty) with the Jews during the seven years of tribulation. “In the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease…” In the middle of the seven year tribulation, the antichrist will break his covenant, turn against Israel, and stop the animal sacrifices. The phrase, “he shall cause the sacrifice…to cease” is viewed as irrefutable proof that a Jewish temple (which includes sacrifices) must be rebuilt on the Temple Mount inside Jerusalem.
Author Hal Lindsey in his The Late Great Planet Earth book reflects this current view when he writes about “God's last seven years of dealing with the Jewish people before the long awaited setting up of the kingdom of God (Daniel 9:27).” (The Late Great Planet Earth, p. 46) According to Hal Lindsey, during those seven years “the Antichrist, breaks his covenant with the Jewish people and causes the Jewish temple worship, according to the Law of Moses, to cease (Daniel 9:27)… We must conclude that a third Temple will be rebuilt upon its ancient site in old Jerusalem.” (Ibid)
Therefore, according to some modern interpreters, Daniel 9:27 of Daniel's 70 week prophecy is applied to a future antichrist, a future peace treaty made with Israel, a future seven year tribulation, and a future rebuilt Jewish temple inside Jerusalem. And all of this will supposedly start with the rapture. Honestly, that's a lot to interpret from that single verse, and especially when Daniel 9:27 says absolutely nothing about any seven year tribulation, antichrist, or rebuilt Jewish temple! Could there be something very wrong with this picture?
The vast majority of well respected Bible scholars have not applied Daniel 9:27 to a seven year tribulation period at all. Neither have they interpreted the “he” as referring to a future antichrist (as many do today). Instead, they applied it to Jesus Christ. The truth is, from Genesis to Revelation, there is not one passage that specifically mentions a seven year period of tribulation at all. Neither will you find it any concordance. Amazingly, the entire theory is based on a very speculative interpretation of two little words in one single verse. The text as you no doubt realize is Daniel 9:27 and the two little words are, “one week.”
Prophecy minded Christians all over the world often engage in a fierce debate about whether Jesus Christ will return for His Church before the seven years of tribulation (the “pre-tribulation” view), in the midst of the seven years (the “mid-tribulation” view), or at the end of the seven years (the “post-tribulation” view). Yet by far the most explosive question that all too few seem to be asking is: Is an end time “seven-year period of tribulation” even taught in the Bible at all? See also secret rapture and seven years tribulation.
The following ten points provide logical and convincing evidential proof that Daniel's famous 70th week prophecy has no application to any future seven year tribulation at all. Rather, this great prophetic period of Daniel's 70 weeks is a Messianic prophecy that was definitely fulfilled nearly two thousand years ago.
1. The entire prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 covers a period of “seventy weeks,” or 490 years. Logic requires that “seventy weeks” refers to one consecutive block of time, in other words, to seventy straight sequential weeks. There is no example in Scripture (or anywhere else!) of a stated time period starting, stopping, and then starting again. All biblical references to time are consecutive: 40 days and 40 nights (see Genesis 7:4), 400 years in Egypt (see Genesis 15:13), 70 years of captivity (see Daniel 9:2), etc. In Daniel's prophecy, the “seventy weeks” were to begin during the reign of Persia and continue to the time of the Messiah.
2. Logic also requires that the 70th week follow immediately after the 69th week. If it doesn't, then how can it possibly be called the 70th week!
3. It is illogical to insert a 2,000 year gap between the 69th and 70th weeks of Daniel's prophecy. No hint of a gap is found in the prophecy itself. There is no gap between the first seven weeks and the following sixty two weeks, so why insert one between the 69th and 70th weeks?
If you told your child to be in bed in 70 minutes, you obviously would mean 70 consecutive minutes. What if five hours later your wide awake son said, “But dad, I know 69 minutes have passed, but the 70th minute hasn't started yet!”? After receiving an appropriate punishment, he would be sent swiftly to bed.
4. Daniel 9:27 says nothing about a seven year period of “tribulation,” a “rebuilt” Jewish temple, or any “antichrist.”
5. The stated focus of this prophecy is the Messiah, not the antichrist. After the Messiah is “cut off” (referring to Christ's death), the text says, “And the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.” In the past, this has been consistently applied to the destruction of Jerusalem and the second temple by Roman armies led by Prince Titus in A.D. 70.
6. “He shall confirm the covenant.” Paul said “the covenant” was “confirmed before by God in Christ.” (Galatians 3:17) Jesus Christ came “to confirm the promises made to the fathers.” (Romans 15:8) In the King James Version, Daniel 9:27 doesn't say “a covenant” or peace treaty, but “the covenant,” which applies to the New Covenant. Nowhere in the Bible does the antichrist make, confirm, or break a covenant with anyone. The word “covenant” is Messianic, and always applies to the Messiah, not some antichrist.
7. “He shall confirm the covenant with many.” Jesus Christ said, “This is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many…” (Matthew 26:28) Behold a perfect fit! Jesus was quoting Daniel 9:27 specifically.
8. “In the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.” After exactly three and a half years of holy ministry, Jesus Christ died on the cross, “in the midst of the week [in the middle of the seven years].” At the exact moment of His death, “the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom…” (Matthew 27:51) This act of God signified that all animal sacrifices at that moment ceased to be of value. Why? Because the Perfect Sacrifice had been offered once and for all!
9. “For the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate.” The abomination that causes desolation (see Matthew 24:15) is not a simple subject, yet we know that Jesus clearly applied this event to the time when His followers were to flee from Jerusalem before the destruction of the second temple in A.D. 70. In a parallel text to Matthew 24:15, Jesus told His disciples, “When you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies [Roman armies led by Prince Titus], then know that its desolation is near.” (Luke 21:20) The disciples did “see” those very events. Because of the “abominations” of the Pharisees, Jesus told them, “See! Your house is left to you desolate.” (Matthew 23:38) Thus Gabriel's statement in Daniel 9:27 about Jerusalem becoming “desolate” was perfectly fulfilled in A.D. 70.
10. Gabriel said that the 70 weeks prophecy of Daniel specifically applied to the Jewish people (see Daniel 9:24). During the period of Christ's public ministry of 3.5 years, the Master's focus was largely upon “the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 10:6) After His resurrection and then for another 3.5 years, His disciples preached mostly to Jews (see Acts 1-6). After that second 3.5 year period, in 34 A.D., the bold Stephen was stoned by the Jewish Sanhedrin (see Acts 7). This infamous deed marked the then-ruling Jewish leaders' final, official rejection of the gospel of our Saviour. Then the gospel went to the Gentiles. In Acts 9, Saul became Paul, the “apostle to the Gentiles.” (Romans 11:13) In Acts 10, God gave Peter a vision revealing it was now time to preach to the Gentiles (see Acts 10:1-28). Read also Acts 13:46. Thus approximately 3.5 years after the crucifixion and at the end of the 70 week prophecy given for the Jewish people, the gospel shifted to the Gentiles exactly as predicted in Bible prophecy.
The explosive evidence is absolutely overwhelming! Point by point the events of Daniel's 70th week have been fulfilled in the past. These eight words found in Daniel 9:27: “confirm… covenant… many… midst… sacrifice… cease… abominations… desolate” all find perfect fulfilment in Jesus Christ and early Christian history. The entire “seven year period of tribulation” theory is an end time delusion, a massive mega-myth. It may even go down in history as the greatest evangelical misinterpretation of all time. The whole concept is like a gigantic bubble. Once the 70 weeks of Daniel and especially verse 27 is correctly understood and the sharply pointed pin of truth is inserted, “Pop goes the seven years!” It is an absolute fact: There is no text in the entire Bible which teaches a “seven year tribulation.” If you hunt for it, you will end up like Ponce de Leon searching for the mystical Fountain of Youth, but never finding it.