Daniel’s Seventieth Week Is Yet Future

Daniel’s Seventieth Week Is Yet Future

My series which dealt with Preterism focused mainly on the Olivet Discourse. There are events that we must concede were fulfilled in A.D. 70 if we are to be fair about the whole debate. But there are other events which simply have not been fulfilled in the way that the epistles further revealed that they would be fulfilled.

But now I’d like to go back to Daniel chapter 9 to discuss why I continue to call myself a Futurist. Every eschatology student must have a good grasp of the vision of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks. The background (before Gabriel reveals that there will be seventy weeks, or seventy "sevens") is that Daniel has come to a revelation by reading the prophecies of Jeremiah which state that Jerusalem would lay desolate for only seventy years. These prophecies are found in Jeremiah 25:11-12, 29:10 (read in context) and are mentioned in II Chronicles 36:21 and Ezra 1:1. So Daniel finds himself smack in the middle of the intersection of fulfilled prophecy. Daniel reads the prophecy that after the 70 years have been accomplished that Babylon would be punished, then sees that it has been fulfilled as Belshazzar is slain. Daniel chapter 9 occurs during the first year of Darius the Mede. So Daniel has witnessed Babylon’s punishment for her sins against Israel signifying that the 70 years of desolation has come to an end, see also Daniel 5. What next?

Daniel understood that unless His nation repented as a whole, that the kingdom would not be restored to Israel. So Daniel does what we find many of the prophets doing. He begins confessing the sins of His people on their behalf. While most of His prayer is describing the ways in which Israel has transgressed the law of Moses, there is one item of supplication toward the end of his prayer. Daniel asks that God would cause His face to shine upon His sanctuary which was presently desolate. Does Daniel believe that by His confession that perhaps the rest of the nation will repent and believe? Does Daniel think that God may restore the Shekinah glory to the temple?

Whatever the case, we should remember that it had been revealed to Daniel previous to this, that there would be a period of time in which the Medo-Persian Empire would rule. This was the empire which had just defeated Babylon. Then Daniel also knew of two other empires which would follow this one. Then during the fourth empire, ten kings would appear. So it is safe to say that if Daniel would think back on what had already been revealed to him, he would know that there was much more to be fulfilled before the kingdom was given into the hands of the saints. Whether or not Daniel equated the temple worship being restored with the establishment of the reign of the Son of Man remains to be seen.

With that in mind, the angel Gabriel expresses a love for Daniel and a personal interest that he be able to understand with great detail the events which would follow in the immediate future. Gabriel outlines seventy "sevens" during which time God would "wrap it all up", so to speak. My study is not going to be exhaustive, but to focus on the reasons why the Preterist view is in error is saying that Daniel’s seventieth week has been completely fulfilled, or partially fulfilled. Before going any further, please read Daniel 9:24-27.

The first segment is seven "sevens" and sixty two "sevens". Gabriel links these two together and so do I. Why didn’t Gabriel just say sixty nine "sevens"? Some believe in a gap. I point toward the reestablishment of the Sabbath year calendar as outlined in the law of Moses. Whatever the case, at the beginning of the sixty nine "sevens" we have a decree to rebuild Jerusalem. At the end of the sixty nine "sevens" we have Messiah. I’m not going to debate decrees or a possible gap. Let’s just keep it simple for the sake of refuting Preterism. There was a decree to rebuild Jerusalem, then over the course of a period of time which included 483 years on this prophetic timetable, Messiah did appear. The sixty nine "sevens" are sevens of years as the background of the seventy years prophesied by Jeremiah makes perfect sense.

Here’s the refutation of the Preterist view.

Daniel’s seventy weeks concerns the city of Jerusalem. The city would be rebuilt during the sixty nine "sevens". Messiah would be cut off after that time and the city of Jerusalem would be destroyed along with the sanctuary. The agent responsible for the destruction of Jerusalem and the sanctuary is known as the people of the prince that shall come. So immediately after the sixty nine "sevens", we have a period of time where there will be a Jerusalem which is once again desolate. But didn’t God promise that these seventy weeks were for the purpose of bringing all of this to an end? True. But we still have one seven year period to go. Conclusion: After the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., the seventy weeks could not have been fulfilled since God had not brought the desolation of Jerusalem to an end.

The sixty nine "sevens" do not mention that the temple will be rebuilt, which is odd since that was one of the main points in Daniel’s prayer. However, it is assumed that the sanctuary will be standing at the time of Messiah since just after Messiah’s death, the sanctuary is destroyed once again. So we can safely assume that during the sixty nine "sevens" that the sanctuary will be rebuilt even if it doesn’t specify. After the sanctuary and city of Jerusalem are destroyed, there is another seven year period during which the sanctuary must be intact once again. There is no mention of the sanctuary being rebuilt after it is destroyed shortly after Messiah’s death, but there was no mention of it being rebuilt during the sixty nine "sevens" either. Yet we know it would happen since the prophecy assumes it will be there, and fulfilled prophecy tells us that it was rebuilt.

So without knowing the end of the story, we can safely conclude just by studying this passage, that during the sixty nine "sevens", the sanctuary will be rebuilt, then destroyed after Messiah’s death, then when the last seven year period begins, it must have been rebuilt by that time again in order for the events of Daniel 9:27 to occur. During that seven year period, the sacrifices are put to a stop and we have the mention of the term abomination making desolate. This would remind us of Daniel 8:11-13 which requires that the sanctuary be involved. This terminology will be further explained in Daniel 11:31 but that hasn’t been given yet at this point in the prophecy. Note: Those who want to spiritualize the abomination of desolation are missing one of the original points of the vision of Daniel’s seventy weeks. The subject matter is the sanctuary in Jerusalem.

Who is the prince in the phrase "the people of the prince that shall come"? There is Messiah the Prince which is mentioned, but the prophecy states that Messiah will be cut off. So in the context of Gabriel’s prophecy, Messiah would be no more. Plus, how could Messiah, whose destiny is to rule from Jerusalem, be responsible for bringing devastation and destruction upon Jerusalem and the sanctuary? Instead, let us remember that Daniel has already had a vision which would lay out a sequence of 4 empires, ten kings during the final empire, then a little horn or king would appear among the ten kings. This king of fierce countenance would be responsible for persecuting the saints. While not acknowledging the presence of this "prince" in verse 26, the people of this prince are present to destroy Jerusalem and the sanctuary. Let me safely conclude that the people of the fourth empire would be the ones responsible for the destruction shortly after Messiah’s death. Then if we take the wording at face value which states, "the people of the prince that shall come", we can conclude that the prince would come shortly after the destruction of the sanctuary and holy city. At the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, he is still the prince who shall come. You follow?

So the sixty nine weeks, or 483 years, is a time period which is clearly defined. It begins with a decree and ends with Messiah’s death. After Messiah’s death, there are events of destruction and the mention of an ongoing war which will have continuous desolation throughout. But when we come to that final seven year period, the sanctuary must have been rebuilt.

Who makes the covenant in verse 27? It has been supposed by many Preterists that it is Messiah making an everlasting covenant at the beginning of this seven year period. This would allow Daniel’s seventieth week (or at least the first three and one half years of it) to have been fulfilled in the first century A.D. But this covenant that is made is only confirmed for one "seven". Messiah’s covenant is eternal. The same "he" who makes the covenant, also causes the sacrifice to cease, and commits a desolation because of an abomination. The language used here is congruous with descriptions of the little horn of Daniel 7:8, 20, 24, the little horn of Daniel 8:9-14, the king of fierce countenance of Daniel 8:23-25, and later we shall see similarities with the king of the time of the end in Daniel 11:36-45. The little horn of Daniel 8:9-14 takes away the daily sacrifice. During his time, the sanctuary is trodden underfoot. He also commits the transgression of desolation. We have to remember that we cannot separate Daniel’s vision of seventy weeks from the other prophecies in the book of Daniel. They are all interrelated. There is one ominous end times figure who is an evil king overshadowing all of these prophecies, including this bogus covenant in Daniel 9:27.

Let us also remember that in the context of Gabriel’s prophecy, Messiah is now dead. There is no resurrection prophesied here. Messiah dies, destruction comes upon Jerusalem, then later someone makes a covenant. The covenant is not connected in any way with Messiah’s death according to the structure of the prophecy.

The main point of this study is to prove that the original language of the prophecy assumed a gap in between the sixty nine weeks and the seventieth week. Nowhere does the prophecy state or even assume that they are contiguous. There must be a time following Messiah’s death for the destruction of Jerusalem and the sanctuary. At that time only the people of the evil prince to come are present, and not the evil prince himself. There is an ongoing war which will be characterized by desolations. Then the little horn, the king of fierce countenance, however you want to term him, he confirms a covenant with many for that final seven year period. But in the midst of this time, he causes the sacrifices to be stopped, and initiates the abomination of desolation.

I grow weary of Dispensationalists who just assume this point in prophecy and never get around to proving their case. They play the "hidden church age" card, insisting that the prophetic time clock has officially stopped. I also wanted to address this issue since some may think that I hold to Preterism just because I point to 70 A.D. fulfillment for certain events in the Olivet Discourse. I will mention that the destruction of Jerusalem and the sanctuary that we just read about occurred in 70 A.D. So a portion of Daniel’s prophecy of Daniel’s seventy weeks is Preterist in the sense that it is in the past. But Daniel’s seventieth week, that final seven year period, remains entirely future. I welcome rebuttals to this post.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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4 Responses to Daniel’s Seventieth Week Is Yet Future

  1. pjmiller says:

    Good post Orange…I don\’t see how anyone can believe all prophecy has been fulfilled, except for the Lord\’s return, but I know many preterists do. From what I\’ve read though [on boards, blogs, etc] it appears if anyone sees any portion of Matthew 24 [the Olivet discourse] as being fulfilled, they are considered some form of preterist by most others. Have you found this to be so? You\’re going to kill me..lol, but I have a question concerning prophecy which doesn\’t \’quite\’ fit into your topic. I considered sending you a note–but didn\’t see any where by which I could, so forgive me, ok? In the last few days this topic is been one I\’ve been looking at:From everything I\’ve read on the topic,  it appears that many Christians, especially those who are dispensationalist in their end time views, state that at the end of the age, once Jesus returns and sets up his kingdom, that the Jewish believers do not inherit the Heaven of \’saved\’ Gentiles but that they instead inherit the Earth. Do you know anything about this belief? If you yourself believe this, can you give me scripture which says this is so?Once I began looking into this and found it is a common belief, it kind of floored me…for it wasn\’t anything in which I was familiar. Again, please forgive my intruding in this topic to ask this question. I thought of posting on it in my blog, and may still do so, but wanted to ask you about it first–sometimes I feel like an idiot when it comes to these topics.thanks pj 

  2. Darrin says:

    Hey PJ, No apologies necessary.  I\’d like it if I had a question per day about prophecy, even if it isn\’t exactly on target with the specific post.  If you have a Windows Live ID, we could PM, or you can E-Mail me at theorangemailman@yahoo.com, or do it just like this and leave a comment on a post.
     
    I am familiar with the view that you mention.  It comes from dispensationalism.  You have to understand that in the dispensationalist mindset, there are two separate programs for Israel and the church.  The church has a heavenly function while Israel has an earthly function.  Progressive Dispensationalism is moving away from this, but the distinctions still remain.  I myself continue to distinguish between Israel and the church for a couple of reasons.  At Pentecost, God did something new that had not existed in the Israel of the Old Testament.  Israel is a nation made up Jacob\’s children.  The church\’s consummation is yet to be realized.  Israel\’s destiny to have a place of prominence over the Gentile nations in the Messianic kingdom cannot be spiritualized as taking place in the church right now.
     
    Having written that, Israel and the church are linked in ways that most dispensationalists fail to realize.  You probably read my post "Gentiles can participate in the new covenant with Israel" which covers a lot of it.  But with what you are talking about, I would point to the New Jerusalem.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say that the church is the bride of Christ.  Dispensationalists want to make this false distinction between Israel as being the adulterous wife of the LORD in the Old Testament, and the church being the spotless bride of Christ in the New Testament.  I would point you to my post titled "Will the real Bride of Christ please step forward". for a detailed look at my view.  In a nutshell, Israel is the adulterous wife, but in the future she will be the spotless bride as God restores her.  Gentiles are allowed to participate in this marriage covenant with the Messiah which will be consummated at some future point in time.
     
    The New Jerusalem is both Israel and the church in one entity.  It has 12 gates with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel on them; and 12 foundations with the names of the 12 apostles on them, which are the foundation stones for the church and which incidently are all Israelites.  The New Jerusalem is the bride of Christ.  The New Jerusalem will have the church as contributing to the essence of her makeup, but also will have Israel functioning in the same way.  It\’s hard to verbalize, or put into words in any way, and I\’m still studying.
     
    But Israel does have an earthly destiny.  And the church does have a heavenly destiny.  That\’s what\’s confusing is that there is some truth in it.  Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.  I continue to contemplate the simplicity of those words, yet they are quite deep if you think about the program that God has for this earth.
     
    So is there anything in the above response that you want me to zero in on?  Confused?
     
    Have fun and stay busy -Luke 19:13
     
    -The Orange Mailman
     
    Oh, and as for your question about being considered Preterist, that\’s pretty funny because a Preterist website has linked me as someone who holds the "True Preterist" view as opposed to "False Preterism" or "Hyper Preterism".  I think I\’ll write a post about that.

  3. pjmiller says:

    Thanks for taking the time to reply to my question… A question a day? ahaha….well for someone like me, that would be a WONDERFUL idea. And you know my friend, i believe there are more like me [with many questions concerning prophecy] then most realize. So this idea is basically one held by dispensationalist–i should have guessed. The more i find out about this form of belief Darrin, the staunch hyper-type in particular, the more i disagree with its basic principles. There\’s just too much separating into \’them\’ and \’us\’.ok one question–you wrote:"But
    Israel does have an earthly destiny.  And the church does have a
    heavenly destiny.  That\’s what\’s confusing is that there is some truth
    in it"Are you meaning the Israel [the land] as we know it today, or the Jewish people period? See this is what i find very confusing when i read prophecy teachings which refer to Israel: some of them are referring to the land [only] and how end day prophecy will greatly impact it–while others use the word to refer to the Jews. Like as an example–\’all Israel will be saved\’ etc etc..Many teachers say that means all Jews living in Israel will at some point be saved. Thinking logically, what does that say about the 1000\’s of Jewish people who ARE NOT living in Israel now nor will be at this appointed future time they refer too? Are they just lost because they don\’t live on the land known as Israel? Land saves no one, only belief in Jesus as the Messiah does. Also, one more:If the destinies of the Church and Israel (the people) are to be separate, what about those ethnic Jews who are a part of the Church today…or have been down through the last 2000 years because of their own personal born again experience? They were/are a part of the body of Christ…so a part of the Church! Do you see what i mean?What does that mean, also, for those say, like me;  One side of my family comes from a Jewish/German linage. Where am i going to end up…with a destiny on earth or in heaven with the Church? ahaha!!!!!!!Hope im not driving you nuts Darrin.    

  4. Darrin says:

    Hey PJ-
     
    I understand your frustration.  There is a huge struggle with terminology today.  One person has a definition of what "Israel" means, while another applies it in a completely different fashion.  So two people can be having a conversation about what they think is the same thing, but be speaking two completely different languages.
     
    What I mean by Israel is taken from Romans 9-11.  The definition Paul uses here for the term Israel is for any Israelite, meaning any child of Jacob through on of the twelve tribes of Israel.  But Paul has a further definition from 9:6, "they are not all Israel, which are of Israel".  So Paul is throwing us a curve ball as well.  He alternates between talking about the nation of Israel, using terms like "my kinsmen according to the flesh", "seed of Abraham", and referring to them as blind, foolish, and disobedient, and between talking about the "Israel within Israel", or the election, a remnant, His true people.  So there is Israel, which means any child of Israel (Jacob), and there is Israel, those who are saved believers in Messiah within the nation of Israel.
     
    But there is also this nation over in the middle East right now comprised mostly of Israelites and some other people existing in a state of national unbelief in their own Messiah.  This is the nation of Israel.  There is a governmental structure, some rabbis, friends of Israel, enemies of Israel, and a set of laws by which they try to abide.  The Old Testament prophesies of a time when the LORD will appear to the nation of Israel and they will repent and believe on their God.  Zechariah 12:10 is probably the most straightforward of them.  There are other passages as well, such as Joel 2:12-17, Zephaniah 3:12, Psalm 110:3, but I especially love the enigmatic series of Psalms which are essentially one- Psalm 92-97.  It is after this repentance that God will individually gather every single Israelite on the face of the earth, no matter how forgotten their lineage may seem, back into the land which He swore would belong to them.  Isaiah 11:10-16, 27:12-13, Ezekiel 39:27, Amos 9:11-15, Zechariah 10:8-12.
     
    So it is only after the national repentance of Israel which brings them nationally under the New Covenant established in Messiah\’s blood that they will forever dwell in the land which God has promised to them.  As of right now, only individuals within the nation of Israel are in a covenant relationship with Messiah.  The nation as a whole is still in blindness.  So to speak of the land is just to speak of a piece of land.  But it is a piece of land that God has future plans for.  Entering into that land is symbolic of entering the Sabbath rest of the LORD.  So Israel\’s salvation depends on whether or not they believe on the Messiah.  When they nationally are converted, then God will fulfill His obligation and restore them completely to the land.  So living in the land securely with no enemies will be a sign that they have come under the New Covenant as a nation.
     
    So Israel\’s destiny is an earthly one in that sense.  Now here\’s where I may lose you (no offense intended).  Christ came preaching the kingdom, not the kingdom of Israel, but the kingdom of God.  Jesus came, told them the kingdom was in their midst, invited them to repent and come on in.  He basically drew a circle around Himself and stated, "The Kingdom of God is here, repent, and join Me."  So all who accepted His invitation have entered the kingdom of God.  Gentiles can individually repent and enter the kingdom of God as well.  They are part of the kingdom of God equally with all Israelites who repented at His first advent.  Remember that it was strictly Israel that Jesus came to, chose disciples from, ministered to, established the New Covenant with, and poured the Holy Spirit upon at Pentecost.
     
    At the second advent, when Israel nationally repents, the entire nation will enter the kingdom of God.  So the kingdom of Israel will come under the direct authority of God Himself.  Israel will be God\’s Kingdom.  The New Jerusalem will descend and be the capitol city of the world.  The kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ in the sense that there will be no higher authority on earth than the King of kings and LORD of lords. Nations as whole will have the opportunity to establish a national relationship with Messiah.  Nations as a whole will be able to "kiss the Son", Psalm 2:12, "worship the King", Zechariah 14:17, "come to His light", Isaiah 60:3.  Heaven will have broken forth to the earth.
     
    The church\’s heavenly destiny is to dwell in the New Jerusalem.  Israel\’s earthly destiny is to have a place of prominence over the nations during the Messianic kingdom.  But both share the same ultimate destiny, to forever be with the LORD.  Israelites thoughout the ages will either be allowed to enter the New Jerusalem based on whether they believed in Jesus as Messiah or be cast out into outer darkness based on unbelief.  The same will be true of Gentiles.  It has nothing to do with whether they live in the nation of Israel right now.
     
    As far as driving me nuts, that\’s far from the truth.  I can\’t hardly get anybody to discourse about this stuff.  I hope my response helps and doesn\’t convolute the issues.  Does that answer the questions?  Is there anything else you\’d like me to zero in on?
     
    Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
     
    -The Orange Mailman

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