Daniel's Seventieth Week
Prophecy - Signs
Friday, February 22, 2002
Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter Editor

Sometimes it looks like the population of Planet Earth has taken a collective vacation from sanity. The opening shots in the war on terror on 9/11 were an insane act on the part of al-Qaeda. The Taliban refusal to turn him over in the aftermath was an act of political and personal insanity. India and Pakistan are on the verge of outright nuclear war – a military and strategic insanity. The Europeans believe Yasser Arafat will keep his word to make peace if Israel surrenders – insane behavior at so many levels it defies description. But through the seeming insanity one can detect good, orderly direction. All one needs to do is recognize the signs of the times.

The Hebrew prophet Daniel was given a complete outline of Israel’s future history, broken into subdivisions of time of seven years each. In Hebrew, “shabua”, translated as “week” in Daniel 9:26, is a ‘week of years’, in much the same way the Greek system is in use today. A ‘decade’ denotes ten years in the way a ‘shabua’ or ‘week’ denotes a period of seven years.

Daniel was told by the revealing angel that “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, 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.” [Daniel 9:24]

In this verse, we see a six-fold purpose to be accomplished in Daniel’s “Seventy Weeks” or 490 years. First, to finish Israel’s sin – the rejection of the Messiah at the First Advent. Then there is a skip forward in time to His Second Advent, at which time, an end will be made of sin, reconciliation will be made for Israel’s iniquity, everlasting righteousness will introduced to Israel, Israel’s Scriptures will be vindicated by the fulfillment of all prophecy and finally, the return of Christ at the conclusion of the war of Armageddon, at which time He will be anointed and will take His seat at the Throne of David.

The angel went on to lock in the time. “Know therefore and understand, that 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 . . . And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:” [Daniel 9:25, 26].

Beginning at a specific point in history and moving forward in time from there, the angel said that after sixty-nine weeks, or 483 years, the Messiah shall be cut off [killed] but not for Himself [He was blameless].

History records only one decree that authorized the rebuilding of the city. “And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king . . . I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it. [Nehemiah 2:1, 5]

According to modern dating research, the 20th year of the Persian king Xerxes would have been 444 BC. The reference to the ‘month of Nisan’ with no reference to the day indicates the first day of the month. Using the Hebrew calendar, the first day of Nisan, BC 444 corresponds to the modern date of March 5. Counting forward 483 years from 444 BC to AD 33 is 477 years. But BC 1 and AD 1 are the same year, so deducting that year leaves us with 476 years. Four hundred seventy-six years times 365.24219879 days is 173,855 days. Jesus was crucified on March 30, AD 33, so there are an extra 25 days to add to the equation, giving a grand total of 173,880 days. (Calculations courtesy of "Evidence That Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell)

So, from the going forth of the commandment on March 5, BC 444 until March 30, AD 33 was exactly 173,880 days divided by 360 day lunar equals exactly 483 years.

Daniel 9:26 goes on to say that after Messiah is ‘cut off but not for Himself’, “the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city.”

Within a generation of Israel’s rejection of the Messiah, General [and future Emperor] Titus of Rome led his legions into Jerusalem where the city was sacked and the Temple utterly destroyed.

The ‘people’ identified by the angel to Daniel are proved by history to be the Roman Empire, currently embodied by the European Union. The ‘prince’ of that ‘people’ is the antichrist.

As an aside, according to the Jewish historian [and eyewitness] Josephus, the Romans burned the Temple so completely its ornate gold fixtures melted and ran between the stones of the Temple.

To recover this rich booty, the soldiers dismantled the Temple, stone by stone, fulfilling Jesus' prophecy of a generation before; “There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down” [Matthew 24:2].

The coming prince of Daniel 9:26, the antichrist, kicks off the Tribulation Period – and starts the clock running -- with an event as historically definite as was Artexerxe’s Decree. According to Daniel 9:27, the antichrist ‘confirms a covenant’ between Israel and her enemies. This ‘covenant’, or treaty, is confirmed as an agreement of seven year’s duration. [Not coincidentally, the exact length of the Tribulation Period – Daniel’s 70th Week].

The Book of Daniel says that from the signing of that treaty until it is broken by the antichrist is three and one-half years [time, times and a half’ (Dan 12:7)]. To further confirm it, from the breaking of that treaty at the midpoint until the return of Christ is precisely 1260 days – three and one-half years.

We have already seen the precision with which God counted down sixty-nine weeks of years. One week remains. There is no reason to think God has fired His accountant.

So, logically, anyone familiar with the Scriptures who observes the breaking of the treaty with Israel by antichrist could know exactly, to the day, when Jesus was to return.

But wait! What about what Jesus Himself said of His coming? He said, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only” [Matthew 24:36].

Clearly, He could not have been speaking of the same event that could be so easily calculated. Is this a contradiction?

According to 1 Thessalonians Chapter 4, there is a secret return of Christ, the one of which Jesus spoke.

Paul writes, “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, 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.”

This secret Advent, in which the Lord comes for His Church in the air, is not the same event as the one in which He puts His foot upon the Mount of Olives, splitting it in two [Zechariah 14:4] Paul’s description of the Lord’s coming has Him coming in the air, not touching down to earth.

Paul is referring to what is commonly called the Rapture of the Church. Since this secret Advent’s timing cannot, according to Jesus, be calculated, it cannot be the same event as the Second Coming. That Triumphant Return can be calculated precisely one minute after the antichrist signs the 7-year treaty.

Since the Tribulation Period is the time of ‘Jacob’s Trouble’ – Daniel’s 70th Week, it is a time reserved for Israel, not the Church. Remember, it is to make ‘reconciliation for sin’ and to ‘bring in everlasting righteousness’.

For the Church during the Church Age, those goals were already accomplished at the Cross.

But the Tribulation Period is the final week of the Age of the Law. The Temple will be in full operation and the Mosaic Law in full force. The Church Age is concluded with the antichrist’s treaty.

Given the current situation in the Middle East, some kind of confirmation of a seven year agreement [like Oslo] is an absolute necessity, either to prevent all out war or at the conclusion of any such war.

Bible prophecy says it will happen. The Bible also says it begins a time of judgment against Israel and the Gentile world. The Church was already judged at the Cross.

Here’s what it all means, boiled down into a single sentence. At some point before that treaty is signed, Jesus Christ will descend from heaven with a shout, and the voice of an archangel, and all those living who placed their faith in Christ will be snatched away, to be forever with Christ.

That treaty could happen at almost any moment. And that means the Rapture of the Church is even closer.

What a time to be alive!


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