LEFT BEHIND: A Study in Matthew Chapter 24
Daniel's Seventieth Week
We continue our study of Matthew chapter 24 and will into the book of Daniel chapter nine. Judah's exile was nearing the end and Daniel was praying. He confessed his sin and the sin of his people. And while he was speaking in prayer. Gabriel appeared to Daniel and gave him insight of the Seventieth week:
According to Gabriel, a sign of "seventy weeks" was given to these people and the holy city to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins and to reconcile for their iniquity. And each week, according to many, is equal to seven years. Therefore, 490 years was given to bring in the everlasting righteousness and to anoint the most holy place.
Gabriel told Daniel to know and understand concerning the seventy weeks. According to this passage from the time the commandment is given to restore and build Jerusalem to the Messiah, or Jesus is seven weeks. And the 62 weeks after the temple is restored or after the 69th week, the Messiah will be cut off and not for himself. It is believed to many, including myself, the Messiah being cut off refers to His crucifixion.
Gabriel continues to tell Daniel after the Messiah is cut off, the "people of the prince" shall come and destroy the city and the sanctuary. Some believe this is in reference to the temple's destruction in 70 AD by Titus, or the prince of the people refers to the coming Anti-christ who will destroy the temple. There are those who believe the 70th week immediately followed the previous 69 weeks. Others believe when the Messiah was cut off after the sixty-ninth week, there was a time break and the 70th week will resume at a later period. This is an area in scripture where there is much debate. And some we will continue to discuss later.
In the later part in verse 26, Gabriel continues to tell Daniel "and the end thereof shall be with a food, and unto the end of the war of desolations are determined." This can refer to the time when Jerusalem is surrounded by the armies and is trodden under foot until the time of the Anti-christ is finished.
Gabriel further tells Daniel:
Here is the centerpiece of the 70th week. The one will confirm with the covenant "with many" for one week, or seven years. This covenant as many believe today will be with the Anti-christ and the nation of Israel. And in the midst of that week, or at the three and one half year mark, he will break the covenant and cause the sacrifice and offerings to cease at the sanctuary. And this will set up the abomination of desolation. In chapter eleven, There is a further explanation of this abomination of desolation:
As further illustrated, the Anti-christ will pollute the sanctuary and will take away the daily sacrifice, and they will do the abomination that causes desolation. And the Anti-christ will flatter or seduce (and deceive) those who hate the covenant. Daniel continues further:
The king will do according to his own will, and he will exalt himself and he will place himself above every god. And He will speak great things against God. This king will prosper until the indignation is completed. Paul, in his second letter to the Thessalonians describes the man of lawlessness:
that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God."
2nd Thessalonians 2:3-4
According To Paul this "man of lawlessness" will oppose and exalt himself above every so-called god, and he will take the seat in the temple of God, in reference to the abomination of desolation.
There is much debate to whether the seventieth week immediately followed the sixty-ninth week, or the seventieth week commences at another time such as the tribulation.
If the seventieth week continued immediately after the sixty-ninth week, then it would have ended seven years after Christ's death. Or the seventieth week could have continued through the destruction of the temple by Titus in A D 70. However, there were things that weren't fulfilled in the description of the seventieth week. For example, In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus alluded to "ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken to Daniel the prophet..." (Matthew 24:15) in reference to the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:21). There is the other part of Matthew where Jesus says "Immediately after the tribulation of those days"(verse29). Again He refers to the abomination of desolation and "the time of trouble" (Daniel 12:1). And "in those days after that tribulation" (Mark13:14, 19, 24), Jesus will appear and come again. This did not happen seven years after his death, nor 3 and a half to 7 years after the destruction of the temple by Titus. The three gospels which covered Jesus' discussion of His coming were written between 55-90 A D. And The book of Revelation was written between 90-96 A D, after the destruction of the temple. And if the seventieth week was accomplished before the three gospels or Revelation were written then there would have been no need to write them. Therefore given the facts above, the seventieth week has not concluded and will do so at the end of the tribulation.
Another topic of debate concerns the temple itself. Will there be a tribulation without the temple? Remember in Daniel and 2 Thessalonians, the Lawless One will pollute the temple and will sit on God's throne. So the temple must be rebuilt in order for these things to commence.
Continuing further in or discussion, Daniel wrote a vital part of much importance:
In the above verses, There will be those who will understand and have insight about the king. They will instruct and warn many, but many will die by persecution for "many days." There will be many of these who will fall and they will be helped by those who will end up deceiving them with flatteries. The other of the understanding will fall, some will be purified and "to make white" or be made righteous up to the time of the end.
The vital part of the pre-tribulational view, the seventy weeks is for the "Jews only." Anything else does not concern the church because they weren't here for the sixty-nine weeks. And because they weren't here for those sixty-nine weeks, they won't be here for the seventieth either. Looking into the Gospel of Matthew, before Jesus' death on the cross (after the 69th week), Jesus said in reference to the church:
"Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican."
In essence, this statement was made before our Lord was "cut off." Jesus applied this statement to taking steps of settling a sin that was caused on a brother by another brother up to the point where one brother will "tell it to the church." And since he gave these instructions before His death, then we can conclude that the Church will be here during the seventieth week. During Jesus' ministry He instructed His disciples and relayed what they were taught to the church. Before Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the temple, the Church was here along with the nation of Israel. So, in this case, Israel and the church were here simultaneously. Therefore there is no reason why the church cannot be here while God is dealing with the Jews during the seventieth week.
In another article in this series, "The Elect." There is a passage of scripture that shows we are citizens of Israel by Christ's death, and he broke down the partition between Jew and Gentile (Ephesians 2:11-19).
Since we are fellow citizens, then what Daniel wrote in the above verses applies to us as well. This is of great importance, because there will be persecution during the latter-half of the seventieth week. And there will be many who will be deceived and fall away. Many of them because they embraced the pre-tribulation rapture. And many people will be unprepared because they believed "it will all pan out" (the "pan" tribbers).
Chapter 12 of Daniel is a continuation of a vision given to him by "a certain man dressed in linen (Chapter 10 verse 5)," or pre-incarnate Messiah. In this part of the vision, the man in linen describes a time of distress:
Michael will stand up for the children of God and the time of trouble will occur "one so great since Israel was a nation." And at that time, there is a promise for everyone who is found written in the book a deliverance. In Matthew, Jesus described the time of "great tribulation":
In comparison to these two verses, there will be a time of trouble (or Hebrew meaning distress) that will be greater than any time before since the beginning of the world or there was a nation.
Continuing further in Daniel:
This is in reference to what happens after the 70th week. Many will awake and will have everlasting life. And there will be some to shame and everlasting contempt. This will happen when the Lord returns. The wise will shine as the brightness of the firmament. They will turn many to righteousness. The man in white linen gave this command to Daniel:
The man in white linen, or pre-incarnate Messiah told Daniel to shut up the words that were given to him. And these words are to be sealed up to the "time of the end." And then many will be running "to and fro" and knowledge will be increased.
Many believe the part of this scripture (knowledge will be increased) refers to the end times and apply it to today. From the end of the nineteenth century up to today, there has been so many advances in so many different fields such as medicine and technology. However, in context of this part of scripture, the words given to Daniel are shut up and sealed to the "time of the end." And knowledge (of the words given to Daniel) shall be increased when these words become unsealed.
Daniel saw two other men and one of them asked the man in linen concerning the abomination of desolation and the time of the end "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?" And He answered this time appointed will be for "a time, times, and a half," commonly known as three and one-half years, and all these things will be finished.
As Daniel heard, he did not understand and asked "O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?" And He answered:
The Lord reconfirmed that these words were closed up until the "the time of the end." During this time many will be made white and purified and the wise will understand. He told Daniel that from that daily sacrifice is taken away and the abomination of desolation is set up (Daniel 9:37; 11:31) will be 1,290 days, or approximately three and one half years. And the Lord said that those who wait and attains to the 1,335 days will be blessed. What the Lord said concerning the 1,335 days is unclear except that that those who wait and come to those days will be blessed. And much of this prophecy is also very uncertain. Daniel didn't understand but wanted to know more. However, the meaning of this prophecy is sealed until the time of the end. As pre-tribbers claim the seventy weeks are for the Jews only, this was not addressed by Gabriel or the Lord to Daniel. And since these words are tied up and sealed we cannot draw to any conclusion supporting their claim.
There are 66 books in the bible. There are scriptures in many of those books that clearly support post-tribulationalism. Just because chapters 9-12 in Daniel does not address the church as pre-tribbers claim, this is no reason to support a pre-trib rapture.
Articles in this study