The church and Daniel’s 70 week prophecy

Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories.  (1 Peter 1:10,11)

The Old Testament prophets tell us of the suffering Christ experienced when he was crucified; they tell us of the glory associeated with his rule over the earth during the Millennium.  But what do they say about the time between these two events, the time in which we are living now?  The answer is: not much.  In fact they say nothing about the most important aspect of this era, the formation of the church.  The apostle Paul was given the task of revealing this truth to us.

When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.  (Ephesians 3:4-6)

The Old Testament teaches that Gentiles will be saved; it never tells of the formation of a new body composed of both Jews and Gentiles.  Paul not only teaches us about this body but he also tells how it will be removed from the earth through the event known as the rapture.

 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.  (1 Corinthians 15:50-52)

God promised Abraham that his descendants would become a great nation and one reason Christ came was to be the king of that nation.  If the Jews had accepted him as their king it is possible that this nation would have been established then.  They rejected him and as a result were scattered throughout the world. Romans 9-11 tells us their present condition.  They are blind to the truth but they are still God’s chosen people and God will fulfill the promise he made to Abraham.

Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,

“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
    he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
“and this will be my covenant with them
    when I take away their sins.”  (Romans 11:25-27)

The knowledge that the church wasn’t foretold can help us understand one important prophecy.

While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my plea before the Lord my God for the holy hill of my God, while I was speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the first, came to me in swift flight at the time of the evening sacrifice. He made me understand, speaking with me and saying, “O Daniel, I have now come out to give you insight and understanding. At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word and understand the vision.

“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. 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. 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. 

“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.” (Daniel 9:20-27)

The 70 weeks are periods of seven years.  God foretold what would happen to Israel and to Jerusaken for the next 490 years.  At the end of 69 weeks, or 483 years, an anointed one would be cut off.  This refers to the crucifixion of Jesus.  His death took place 483 years after the command to restore Jerusalem.  If the Jews of Jesus’ time had been familiar with this prophecy they would have been looking for the Messiah.

The interpretation of the 70th week is controversial.  Some believe that the 70th week immediately follows the 69th, that the one who makes the seven year covenant is Jesus, and that the ending of sacrifices and offering refers to his death, which rendered the sacrifices offered in the temple unnecessary.  There are at least two problems with this interpreation.  There is no record of Jesus ever making a seven year covenant with anybody and it fails to explain why the destruction of Jerusalem is mentioned before this week.

This prophecy is easier to understand if you consider that the church was established 50 days after the crucifxion and resurrection.  This means that the entire church age takes place between the 69th and 70th weeks, so the 70th week is still in the future.  The one who makes the seven year covenant is the prince whose people destroyed Jerusalem.  He will make a treaty which will allow the Jews to rebuild the temple and resume making the sacrifices required by the Mosaic law.  In the middle of the week he will end those sacrifces and demand that he be worshipped.

Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.  (2 Thessalonians 2:3,4)

If you want to know more details about what happens during this week I recommend that your read chapters 4 to 19 of Revelation.  And if you want to know more about Biblical prophecy you should check this site: raptureready.com .

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Posted on January 23, 2018, in Bible study, prophecy and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The church and Daniel’s 70 week prophecy.

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