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THE SEVENTY WEEKS OF DANIEL Pt. 2

Written by: Camping, Harold    Posted on: 05/12/2003

Category: Bible Studies

Source: CCN

                            CHAPTER 3

So  far in our  study of Daniel  9:24-27, we have  seen that every phrase in this intriguing passage is beginning to make sense, once we have caught  the key. Once  we discovered the  major clue, that the  city and  the sanctuary  discussed in  these verses are not a literal city and  a literal temple, these verses  began to open up for  us. We  discovered that  the city  and the sanctuary refer to Christ Himself or to His body, the believers in Him  who will hear the Gospel or hear the  law of God and thus become  saved. Once we discovered  this we began to see that every phrase in this passage began to fit into place.

In our study  of the seventy  sevens, we determined  that the time period in  view begins  in 458  B.C., when  King Artaxerxes I, the Medo-Persian King, gave to Ezra the scribe the command that he was to go to Jerusalem to reestablish the law, that is, to rebuild the spiritual  city. We have  found that there  was one path that went directly from 458 B.C.  to the cross 490  years later, in 33  A.D. (vs. 24).

Then  is  verses  25  and  26  we  saw  a more difficult path that consisted first  of seven  sevens or  a Jubilee  period. This  was followed  by an un  broken path of  62 sevens or  434 years, which brought us  to the year 29 A.D., when  Christ was baptized. It was at this time that He officially began His work as Messiah.

Christ Confirms His Covenant

Let  us begin to unravel verse 27  of Daniel 9. There God declares that He  shall confirm the  covenant with many  for one seven. How are we to understand this phrase? Who is "he?" What covenant is it that He will confirm?  Who are the many with whom  He will confirm this covenant?

Many theologians stumble on this verse. They suggest that the "he" is  the  antiChrist,  who  will  make  a  covenant  with the Jews. Moreover,  they  insist  that  this  verse  is  concerned with the tribulation period that must come, as prophesied in Matthew 24:21. Is this what this phrase is discussing?

When we looked  at verses 25 and  26, we saw that  God was talking about the  Prince who was to come, who  could be only the Messiah. Therefore,  the  antecedent  of  the  "he"  that shall confirm the covenant can only be the Messiah of  verses 25 and 26. There is no suggestion  in these  verses that  the "he"  of verse  27 could be antiChrist.

Furthermore, we shall see that this verse cannot be discussing the final  tribulation  period  because  shortly  we  will  see  that sacrifice and offering ceased in the middle of  the week, and that can refer only to the  time when Christ was hanging on  the cross. It was  at that  time that  He completed  the ceremonial  laws and ended sacrifices and offerings.

The Covenant of Salvation is in View     

Moreover,  we  find  that  ordinarily  in  the  Bible  when God is speaking of a covenant, He has in view God's covenant of grace  or redemption  that He has made  with believers. This word "covenant" in the old Testament is the Hebrew word "berith." It is found some 280  times  in  the  Old  Testament.  Sometimes  it  is translated "league," as  for example  when one  political nation  had made  a league with another. But in  more than 877 of the times that it is used  in the Old Testament, it  definitely relates to the covenant of grace or the covenant of salvation.

In the New Testament the word "covenant," which is also translated "testament," is the Greek word "diatheke." It is found 33 times in the  New  Testament,  and  in  every  instance  it  relates to the covenant of salvation.

For example, when Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper, He declared, "This  is  My  blood  of  the  new testament." In Romans 11:27 God quotes from the Old Testament  as He explains why a remnant chosen by grace was coming into the  body of Christ from national Israel. There He declared, "This is My covenant unto them when I take away their sins." Hebrews  12:24 declares, "Jesus, the  Mediator of the new covenant."  Again, Hebrews 13:20  speaks of the  "blood of the everlasting  covenant." These  references to  the covenant  can be speaking only of Christ, who went to the cross that God's covenant of  grace or  salvation might  become effective  for all who would believe on Him.

When  Jesus  stood  on  the  shore  of  the River Jordan, John the Baptist  looked  at  Him  and  said,  "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away  the sin  of the  world." Christ  came as  the Lamb to confirm the covenant.

Going back to Daniel 9:27, God indicates that He shall confirm the covenant with  many. The many for whom  Christ came to confirm His covenant of salvation are those He came to save: "Thou shalt  call His name Jesus for He shall save His people from  their sins." "He gave His life a ransom for many."

From  the above, then, we can see  that the phrase we are studying does  not  have  any  Biblical  validation  to  suggest that it is antiChrist who would  make some kind  of a covenant.  Moreover, we see that emphatically it relates  to the covenant of grace,  which is such a major subject throughout the whole Bible.

As we have seen, the end of the 62nd week of Daniel occurred in 29 A.D., when Jesus was  baptized. It was at  that time, as the  Holy Spirit  came upon  Him, that  He was  officially anointed  as High Priest; He  was officially declared to be the Messiah. It was also that  year  that  became  the  beginning  of  the seventieth week. Therefore, we see that everything is fitting into place exactly as it should.

Thus  we must come to the  conclusion that when verse 27 declares, "He shall confirm the covenant . . . ," the "he" is the Lord Jesus Himself. The covenant is the covenant of grace, and  of course, He came to give His life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28). Therefore He confirmed the covenant for many.

But what about the rest  of the seventieth seven? If we go from 29 A.D. for  seven years, we end  up at approximately 36  or 37 A.D., but the Bible tells of nothing significant happening in  either of these years.  Maybe we  are on  the wrong  path after  all. Let us continue to study verse 27 and see.

Sacrifice and Offering has Ceased     

The Bible  says, in  the second  phrase in  verse 27,  "And in the midst of the  week (that is, for half of the seven) He shall cause the  sacrifice  and  oblation  to  cease."  This  is  a tremendous statement, which  offers a clue  that we are  on exactly the right path. God is declaring by this  language that in the midst, or  in the  middle, or  for half  of the  seventieth seven, sacrifice and offering will cease. This  important piece of information  must be faced in any possible solution to the 70 sevens of Daniel 9.

Consider!  There is  only one  time in  history when sacrifice and offering ceased, and that was at the cross. When Jesus hung on the cross the veil of the temple, that huge veil some 50 feet high and several inches thick, which  separated the holy of holies from the holy place, was  rent in two from  top to bottom. That  is, it was rent by God. Never again would the holy of holies be a place where only the High Priest could  go to meet God. The whole  business of sacrifices had ended. The whole Old Testament priesthood had ended with Christ going to  the cross. Never again would  there be blood sacrifices. Oh,  it's true  that the  Jews for  a number  of years after  this continued  to offer  blood sacrifices,  but insofar as God's  plan  is  concerned,  these  sacrifices  had  no  meaning whatsoever.

Sacrifices had been instituted from  the beginning of time. We see this in  the fact that Abel offered a blood sacrifice. We see this in the fact  that Noah offered  a blood sacrifice.  It was further articulated  on Mount Sinai  when God gave  all the commands about blood sacrifices  and burnt offerings. But all of these sacrifices were pointing  to "The Sacrifice," the  Lord Jesus Christ Himself. By  His death  He completed  all of  these burnt offerings, all of these blood sacrifices. Never again would a sacrifice of an animal or  any kind  of a  burnt offering  have any meaning whatsoever in God's timetable. Christ completed all of this. Never again will we come under the ceremonial law.

Therefore, when  Daniel 9:27 indicates that for  half the week, or in the  midst of the  week, sacrifice and  offering will cease, we can  know  that  33  A.D.  was  in  view.  But 33 A.D., the spring Passover  Day  when  Christ  hung  on  the  cross,  at  which time sacrifice and offering ceased, was  three and one-half years later than 29 A.D. when the 62 sevens ended, when  Christ was officially designated as the Messiah, as John the  Baptist declared, "Behold, the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world."

Can you  see, dear  friend, that  the seventieth  seven began with Christ's baptism  in 29 A.D., and three  and one-half years later, at the end  of the first  half of the  seventieth seven, sacrifice and  offering ceased because Christ  hung on the cross? Therefore, we now  have a very clear  path from the giving  of the law in 458 B.C.,  when Ezra went to reestablish  the law, that is, to rebuild the  spiritual  city,  right  to  the  cross, insofar as the first sixty-nine and one-half sevens are concerned.

The End of the Seventieth Week     

But now, what about the last half of the  seventieth seven? Let us read again 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,  and  for  the     overspreading of abominations he shall make it  desolate,     even until  the consummation, and  that determined shall     be poured upon the desolate (or upon the desolator)."

Of what is this speaking?  It is giving us information  that after the cessation of sacrifice and offering, which would have to be 33 A.D., there would be a time of  the overspreading of abominations. But that  sounds like the  events that will  occur just before the end of  time. When we study the Bible we  find that it is near the end  of  time  that  Satan  is  loosed  to  deceive  the  nations (Revelation  20).  It  is  at  the  end of time that the rebellion comes. We read  about this in  II Thessalonians 2,  in relation to the man of sin, who takes his seat in the temple. It is at the end of  time  that  wickedness  will  multiply,  as  Jesus tells us in Matthew 24. This is the time of the overspreading of abominations.

The  overspreading  of  abominations  is  to  be  followed  by the consummation.  It  will  be  followed  by  the determined end, the determined decree, that shall be poured upon the desolator.  It is at the  end of  time that  Judgment Day  will come,  at which time God's judgments are  poured out upon  the unsaved and  upon Satan. This is  the consummation, the time of  the decreed end. Therefore God  is suggesting here that the last half of the seventieth seven goes  all  the  way  from  the  cross, when sacrifice and offering ceased, to Judgment Day itself, right to the end of time.

The Prerogative of God to Use Numbers as He Desires     

We might begin to  argue right at this point, "Now  wait a minute! You just  can't do that!  It's one thing  to try to  see a Jubilee period as a solution to the  first seven weeks. And it is possible to see a spiritual building as a solution to the language relating to the  building of  Jerusalem. But  to go  from literal  years to calling the whole New Testament period, from the cross to Judgment Day, a  period of three and  one- half years .  . . that is asking too much. To  go from literal years  to some kind of  a symbolical use of numbers all  in the same passage  . . . that  does not seem believable."

Indeed, our human  logic may say all of this, but we must remember it is God  who wrote the Bible. I did not write the Bible, neither did any  other speaker or teacher or  preacher write the Bible. It is God who wrote the Bible,  and we have to sit very  humbly under the teaching of the Bible and let God show us what He had in mind.

As  a  matter  of  fact,  you  will  notice in our study of Daniel 9:24-27  that  God  does  not  say  there  were 70 weeks of years. Rather,  He says there were 70 weeks. He is not indicating whether they are years or some other  unit of time. While it is  true that in the first path we followed in going from Ezra to the  cross, 70 weeks was  indeed a  period of  490 years;  in the  second path we followed the initial period was  a Jubilee period. This was so, as we  have seen, inasmuch  as a Jubilee  period comes after each and every seven  weeks or 49  years. Thus God  points us to  a Jubilee period  by  the  reference  to  seven weeks. Therefore, the actual transpired time before the 62 weeks began was the  period 458 B.C. to 407  B.C. which  is a  period slightly  longer than  that which would result if we were to stay strictly with years.

Likewise, as we look at  the last half of the seventieth  week, we are  under no stricture insofar as  the language of Daniel 9:27 is concerned  to insist on  literal years. Rather,  we have to search the Bible to let it tell us what this period  is. As we have seen, verse 27 clearly  shows that it is  the period from 33  A.D., when Christ hung  on the  cross, to  Judgment Day  at the  end of time. Later,  in closing this study on  Daniel 9:24-27, we will see that God reinforces the fact that the last half of  the seventieth week is  indeed  the  New  Testament  period.  This will be seen by the language found in Revelation 11, 12, and 13.

Judgment Day is the End of the Seventy Weeks     

Thus we have found  in studying Daniel, Chapter  9, that God in  a very  interesting and  beautiful way  is showing  us two  paths to Judgment Day  or the coming of Christ. One path was given in verse 24, which was  a direct path of 490 years,  going from 458 B.C. to 33 A.D., when Christ  was here on earth paying for  our sins as He was receiving the awful judgment of God on behalf of our sins.

The second dramatic path that God is opening up here also began in 458 B.C.  It is  a more  complex path,  however. It  begins with a Jubilee period, which  in turn is  followed by 434  years. Thus we arrive at 29  A.D., when Christ was baptized  and officially began His  work. This  is followed  by the  first half of the seventieth week, which is the  period of Christ's word  from the time of  His baptism  until  His  crucifixion.  It  was  at  that  moment  that sacrifice and offering  ceased. We saw then that  the last half of the  seventieth week included  the whole period  from the cross to the end of time. Thus  this second path also ends at  Judgment Day and the coming of Christ. It  will be the second coming of  Christ when Christ returns on the clouds of glory to judge the living and the dead.

We see therefore a beautiful parallel, a beautiful cohesiveness in these verses. There are two paths, both of which begin at the same point in 458 B.C. and both of which end with the coming of Christ. Both end with Judgment Day. One was the first coming of Christ and the Judgment Day  at the cross, when the believers' sins were paid for. The  second is the coming of Christ on the Last Day, when the unsaved  and Satan and  all of his  evil hosts will  be judged for their sins.

In order to arrive at  the two ends of time under the figure of 70 weeks, one at the cross and one at Judgment Day, obviously God has to do something special with the numbers. It is God's province, it is God's prerogative, it  is God's right to take the  last half of the  seventieth seven  and make  it cover  the whole New Testament period. We  know this last half of the seventieth seven must begin at  the  time  of  the  cross  because  that is when sacrifice and offering ceased.  This path must go from the  cross all the way to the end  of time because Daniel 9:27  declares that the seventieth seven ends with  the time of the overspreading  of abomination and the determined end, or the decreed end,  being poured out upon the desolator or the desolate. That  time is Judgment Day and  the end of time.

Judgment Day Signifies that the Atonement has been Completed     

The end of time, when  Judgment Day occurs, is also the  time when our salvation  is completed.  Remember, verse  24 speaks  about 70 sevens that begin with  the building of Jerusalem and end with the finishing  of  transgression,  the  ending  of sins, the making of reconciliation and the  bringing in of  everlasting righteousness. Christ  completes our salvation  when He returns  in judgment. The Bible says that we are saved, but the Bible also says that we will be saved.  We are saved in  the sense that our  sins have all been paid  for. We  are saved  in the  sense that  we have received our resurrected souls. But we have not received our resurrected bodies as yet. That will occur  at the completion of our  salvation. Then He  will have finished transgression in  a total way. Then He will have made an end of sins in  a total way . . . not only  an end of our sins but also an end  of the sins of the unsaved, in that they will  have  been  cast  into  hell.  Then  He  will  have  made reconciliation for iniquity . . . not in the sense that He went to the  cross,  but  in  the  sense  that  He  will have given us our redeemed  bodies.  He  will  have  reconciled  the  rest  of us to Himself. Our bodies,  as they go into the  grave, are unsaved. But they will have been resurrected perfect spiritual bodies. This  is the ultimate completion of what God has in view. Therefore, we see that both paths fit all the language of Daniel 9:24-27.

Further Evidence   

When we study Revelation 11 we find further evidence that shows us that  the  period  of  time  from  the  cross  to  Judgment Day is symbolized in  the Bible by the figure of  three and a half years.  We might  recall that in Daniel  9:27 God is saying  that the last half of the  seventieth seven is  the whole New  Testament period, from the cross until Judgment Day, or until the return of Christ on  the Last  Day. One-half  of seven  years is three and one-half years. This equals  42 months or  1,260 days. That  is precisely the  time period  that Revelation  11:3 is  talking about:       

    "And I will  give power unto  my two witnesses,  and they     shall  prophecy  a  thousand  two  hundred and threescore     days, clothed in sackcloth." 

A  study of these two  witnesses would show that  they must be the New Testament  church because  Revelation 11:4  speaks of  them as olive trees, a figure also found in Romans 11, where it is used in speaking of the body of Christ. Revelation 11:4 also declares that they  are  the  two  candlesticks  standing  before the God of the earth. In Revelation 1 and 2 God shows us that every congregation, every  church,  is  represented  in  heaven  by a candlestick. God speaks of two witnesses because it is "out of the mouths of two or three witnesses that  God's Word is  established." Thus these  two witnesses are  a representation of the New  Testament church as it brings the gospel.

The Church brings the Gospel during the Last Half of the Seventieth Week

Because the Bible  is one cohesiveness whole, God  reaches back to Daniel 9:27 and  picks up the time period that is the last half of the  seventieth  seven,  the  time  period  from  the  cross until Judgment  Day at  the end  of time,  and uses  that figure here in Revelation 11:2,  when He  declares, "The  temple will  be trodden under foot forty and two months." He uses it again in verse 3 when He states, " . . . and they  shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth." This period of time as we saw from Daniel 9:27 is  the whole New Testament period. Do  we see  the beautiful symmetry, the marvelous cohesive oneness of the Bible? It  all begins to tie  together, does it not?  Once we find the key, the clue phrases, we see how it ties together.

You will  remember in Daniel 9 we saw that the city and the temple was referring to Christ, or to  His body, the church. That is  the same  figure  used  in  Revelation  11:1,  where  God speaks about measuring the temple of God. The temple is the body of Christ that is being measured.  In verse 2, He speaks of  the Holy City, which shall be  trodden underfoot  forty and  two months.  The Holy City must also be the body  of Christ. We are the Holy City; we are the Jerusalem that God  has in view here. We  are trodden underfoot by the  Gentiles in the sense that we  do not rule on this earth. Oh, yes, we are kings, even as God declares throughout the whole Bible and  particularly in Revelation. We are  kings, but our kingdom is Heaven. Our homeland is Heaven; our throne is in Heaven. We are on this  earth  as  strangers  and  pilgrims  even as Abraham was, to represent Christ, to be His ambassadors, to share the Gospel.

Through us, Christ continues to confirm His covenant with the many who are being  saved, even as it was promised  in Daniel 9:27. But we do not rule over the nations of this earth. Now we are the ones who are trodden underfoot. We are persecuted; we are afflicted. We are walking in the shoes of Jesus, who stripped Himself of all  of His  glory as He  came to bring  the Gospel and  as He went to the cross to die for our sins. He  walked humbly, without any apparent glory whatsoever. This is the way we are to bring the Gospel, even as verse 3 of  Revelation 11 teaches.  Remember, there  God speaks of the witnesses being "clothed in sackcloth."

Revelation 12 also Relates to Daniel 9     

In Revelation 12 God again picks up the figure of a half week with the language of verse 6:

    "And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a     place prepared of  God that they should feed  her there a     thousand two hundred and threescore days."

The woman in view in  this verse can be shown to  be the believers from whom Christ was born. Christ is shown to be the man  child in Revelation 12:5. There  the Bible speaks of the woman giving birth to a child whom we know to  be Christ. When He was caught up  into God, that is,  He ascended into  Heaven, the woman,  whom we might also call the New  Testament Church, continues in  the wilderness, where she is nourished by God.

The wilderness is a figure taken from the  Old Testament. You will recall that  the Israelites  left the  land of  Egypt and spent 40 years in the wilderness before they entered the promised land, the land of  Canaan. That wilderness sojourn again  would be the whole New Testament  period. We will  have crossed the  Jordan River and entered the land of Canaan in the fullest sense of the word at the end of time when we receive our resurrected bodies. The 1,260 days equals 42  months or 3  1/2 years. God  has again reached  back to Daniel 9:27 to show that this is the New Testament period.

In Revelation 13 God again  uses the figure of 42 months. In verse 5  He  speaks  of  the  authority  of  the beast (Satan's kingdom) continuing for this period of time. We know, therefore, that again in this verse God is speaking of the whole New Testament period.

We see, therefore, in these three chapters of Revelation, that God has given us beautiful validation  of the concept taught in Daniel 9:27 . . . that the last half of the seventieth week is the period from the cross to Judgment Day.



                          CONCLUSION

We  have  looked  very  carefully  at  Daniel  9:24-27.  When  we discovered  the key  to these  verses, we  were enabled to come up with a solution that meets all the Biblical requirements. That key was  the fact  that God  did not  have in  view in  these verses a literal,  physical  city  or  temple  that  was  to  be  built  or destroyed. Rather, He had in view the city and the temple which is the body of believers,  which was to be built by  teaching the law of  God. He  also had  in view  the cutting  off of the Lord Jesus Christ, who was the spiritual city and sanctuary.

With  this  knowledge  we  were  enabled  to find two paths to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The first path went directly from 458 B.C., at  the time Ezra  went to Jerusalem  to reestablish the law, to 33  A.D., when Christ hung on the cross on behalf of those who were to be saved as He experienced judgment for our sins.

The  second  path  went  to  the  second  coming of the Lord Jesus Christ,  at  which  time  He  will  complete  the salvation of the believers and bring the unsaved into judgment. That path consisted of an initial Jubilee period  signified by seven weeks followed by an unbroken  period of  434 years,  signified by  62 weeks,  which brought  us to  29 A.D.,  when Christ  was baptized.  This was the beginning  of  the  seventieth  week,  at which time He officially began His program  to confirm the  covenant of salvation  with all who would believe on Him.

The middle  of the  seventieth week,  we saw  very clearly, was 33 A.D., when  Christ was crucified, because it was at this time that sacrifice and offering ceased.  We then saw that the  last half of the seventieth week embraced  the whole time from the cross to the return of Christ at the end of time.

Finally, we briefly  looked at Revelation  11, 12, and  13 and saw that God used the figure of 3 1/2 years or 42 months or 1,260 days to signify  the New  Testament period  from the  cross to Judgment Day.  It surely became obvious that  this figure of time was taken from the last half of the seventieth week of Daniel 9.

Could it be that this study will encourage us all to continue  our search  of  the  Scriptures,  knowing  that  under  God's gracious provision slowly truth can develop for us.

            &n

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