Rapture and Related Events, The
Topic 5—The Seventieth Week

(Final Topic)

Subtopic A—The Seventy Sevens

Daniel 9:24-27 “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. {25} 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: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. {26} And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. {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.”

Let us share in a little exegesis. The seventy weeks of years, or 490 years will accomplish all of the following by the time they expire. The accomplishments are:

  1. To finish transgression, which means rebellion against God and His precepts;
  2. To end sin, which is disobedience of God;
  3. To discharge our iniquity, or guilt;
  4. To usher in eternal righteousness (which is the next age);
  5. To seal up, or fulfill and make an end of revelation and prophecy;
  6. To anoint or consecrate the Most Holy, which is the place in the temple where the Ark stood. This is also known as the Holy of Holies, Most Holy Place, Sanctum Sanctorum (Vulgate) Kodesh Kodeshim (Masoretic), Hagion Hagios (LXX & Vamvas).

Let us discuss each point individually.

  1. To finish transgression. The Spirit uses three words in a row that all mean sin in one form or another. Here, transgression, is breaking the law, or rebelling against God’s precepts. The Hebrew lemma form is פּשׁע, pesha, transgression, or rebellion. This is either the punishment of transgression or the offering for transgression (BDB). Theological Wordbook says it is rebellion, or a breach of our relationship with God. It connotes lawbreaking or criminal activity (HALOT). Halladay says it is rebellion against God. The Hebrew word rendered “finish” means to cease, restrain, forbid, or finish. The original meaning of the Hebrew letters is an animal that has been tamed and trained and now is penned and awaits the time to go to work. In other words, transgression, or the breaking of the Law will have run its gamut and reached cessation. The meaning of the phrase is that after 70 weeks, transgression, or rebellion against God will stop. How? Through Christ and His completed work in history.

When Christ died on Calvary, we could say that His atoning work there was the end of transgression. Yet transgression goes on; it occurs constantly in the human species. However, since Christ’s work forgives believers of their transgression or rebellion, we may argue that it has ended in the lives of believers but not in the lives of unbelievers. Nevertheless, believers still sin and even though their sins are forgiven, we must conclude that transgression has not truly ended. Hence, we may have a dual fulfillment, one is the spiritual realm, viz. forgiveness of transgression because of Christ’s work, and the other is at the end of the age when all transgression will cease eternally. When He died on Calvary, all believers in His death and resurrection were finished with transgression of the Law. In eternity, all whose names are written in the Book of Life will be finished with transgression. This necessarily implies that the fulfillment of the prophecy is dual. Transgression will be finished spiritually for believers after the resurrection in circa 30 AD. It will end phsyically and eternally at the Judgment day.

  1. To make an end of sins. The word used here (lexical form), חטּאת, chattath (also חטּאה, chattah), the most common Hebrew word for sin, is used some 279 times in the OT. It means nearly the same thing as the Greek word for sin, αμαρτια, hamartia, which is “offence” or falling short of the mark. To make an end of sins is expressive and easily understood. It means to finish. This will mark the end of sin at the death of Christ, and, in dual fulfillment, the end of the age. To be fair to the text, though, we must also understand that the meaning of the Hebrew root here, can also be “to seal”. It is (lexical form) חתם chattam (pronounced khat-tham´), and it means to seal up. So the clause could also read “to seal up sins.” To seal usually means to conceal, or to take from view. What would take our sins from view? Obviously, that would be the blood of Jesus. It seals or covers our sins from God’s view (Micah 7:18-19, Psalm 103:12, Isaiah 43:25, Jeremiah 31:34, Hebrews 10:2, 1 John 1:7, etc). Sin will not fully end until eternity. Therefore, the ultimate fulfillment is at the end of the age.
  2. To make reconciliation for iniquity.Here is the third in a series of words meaning sin. It is (uninflected) עון, avōn or avone (also עוון), in this context, guilt (actual, judicial guilt, not perceived guilt or a guilty conscience). Iniquity is a wrongful act; it is wickedness; it is a crime or criminal activity. Iniquity is willful wicked conduct. This is a most serious action. It means to deliberately sin or to live in sinful conduct. To reconcile is to set things straight or to cover or atone. It is to restore things to their original state. Adam and Eve lived in a state of sinless bliss with their Lord. This was the original state. Then sin entered the world and transformed it into the chaos we see today. One meaning here is that our guilt will be set straight, that is, Christ’s shed blood will cover it (see above). His atonement assuages our guilt. Christ fulfilled this with His death and resurrection. Reconciliation occurs every time someone believes in Christ for salvation. Therefore, this is a continuing fulfillment. Ultimately, this atonement will restore us to our original sinless state with God. The final fulfillment comes at the end of the age when we enter eternity with Christ. It is then that God restores our original sinless state of bliss like Adam and Eve enjoyed.
  3. To bring in everlasting righteousness. The righteousness provided by the temporary atonement provided by the blood of bulls and goats will no longer be required for Jesus’ shed blood brings upon believers the righteousness of God, which is everlasting righteousness (Psalm 119:142, Romans 4:22-24, Hebrews 10:10). Yet there is also a dual fulfillment here at the end of the age when all sin will cease and righteousness will rule completely.
  4. To seal up the vision and prophecy. Two prominent things may be in view here. One suggestion is that the fulfillment of this very prophecy given by Gabriel to Daniel will seal up all prophecy. In other words, this prophecy would make an end to all other prophecy. That is to say, after the fulfillment of this prophecy, all prophecy and prophetic vision would end. However, since Jesus, John, Peter, Paul, and others all received and revealed prophecy, this cannot be the meaning here.

    What is more probable is that Jesus Christ fulfills all prophecy and there would be no more need for prophetic vision after the seventy weeks ends. We have adequately made the point here that the seventy weeks ends at the end of the age.

  1. To anoint the most Holy. Anointing literally means pouring oil over or on something or someone. In Biblical usage, it means to consecrate or set apart for some purpose. Samuel anointed David king by pouring fragrant anointing oil (the recipe is contained in Exodus 30:23-25) over David’s head thus setting him apart from the people as king over them. In the New Testament the word “anoint” is often used figuratively of the infilling of the Spirit. The most common Biblical connotation of the word is consecration. The word, “anoint” tells us that the anointed is set apart, or consecrated to some special purpose. Paul is a good example of consecration. God set him apart to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles. Of course, the Hebrew word for “anoint” is mashach, which is the root of the word mashiyach, the Anointed One, or Messiah.

A partial consensus of commentators, with objections, of course, is that this refers to Christ’s anointing of the Temple upon His entering into it as the Messiah. When the Triumphal Entry took place, the people viewed Him as the Messiah. He immediately entered the Temple and cleansed it. Some may view this as His anointing of the Temple.

The Hebrew text rendered ‘the most holy,’ is קדשׁ קדשׁים, qodesh qodeshim, literally “most holy.” Where we find the “most holy place,” “holy of holies,” “most holy house,” or similar translation in the Old Testament, the phrase is translated from קדשׁ הקדשׁים, qodesh haqodashim, literally, “holy the (ה) Holies.” That is different from the Most Holy we see in or passage. There we observe the article (ה) in phrase. Here in our passage the article is absent, thus “most holy” is correct.

The curtain concealing the Holy of Holies from the world split in half at the death of Jesus and opened the Most Holy Place for all to see, causing it to no longer be holy or set apart. Consequently, the Most Holy Place was no longer a part of the Temple, but was set apart or anointed for all believers in Christ, who now have direct access to the Father through Christ. Figuratively, Christ has become our Holy of Holies.

There is another thought we should explore. That is what the Book of Hebrews says about the subject of anointing.

Hebrews 9:11-12 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; (12) Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

The Greater and Perfect Tabernacle is that which is in Heaven. It is the true temple and human hands did not make it; God made it. The blood of goats and calves was only a figure of the true sacrifice and it did not cleanse the sins or the salve the conscience of the people. But Jesus the Messiah, entered into the true Tabernacle in Heaven with His Own shed blood, and by implication, sprinkled His Own blood on the altar in Heaven, not for His Own sins, for He had none, but for the sins of the world, thereby obtaining eternal redemption for those that believe.

Look at this closely. If the figure is the Old Covenant high priest going into the Holy of Holies, on the Day of Atonement, and sprinkling the blood of goats and calves on the Mercy Seat, then the real thing is Christ sprinkling His Own blood on the Mercy Seat in Heaven. The writer does not say this, but it is the implication. This is the fulfillment in eternity and the end of the age.

We seem to have established that the end of the age is the end of the seventy weeks. All of the attributes of the period given by Gabriel seem to indicate that the end of the seventy weeks is at the end of the age. Each of them must have its ultimate fulfillment at the end of the age. Let me be specific about the end of the age. The Greek phrase, συντελεια του αιωνος, sunteleia tou aionos, literally means the end of the age. Yet many translations render it “the end of the world.” That is basically what it is—the end of this world and its system, or the end of this age of the earth. What age is that? It is the age of sin and the age of man. In the previous age, Adam and Eve lived in bliss with God. There was no sin. That age ended with sin entering the world and the next age began; that very age is still extant today. We live in it. When this age ends, eternity with God begins; it is the Heaven age, for Heaven is wherever God abides. We must admit, then, that the end of the seventy weeks is also the end of the age. That means that the final week must be the last era before the Heaven age begins. While the First Advent and the Resurrection partially fulfilled the prophecy, the final fulfillment is at the end of the age. Please note that I am not teaching the theological doctrine of the “Three Earth Ages,” I am simply discussing the sinful condition of men and women, how we got that way, and how it will end.

Daniel 9:25 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: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

The books of Ezra and Nehemiah confirm for us that the city of Jerusalem, including the Temple and the fortified walls, was rebuilt. The rebuilding took forty-nine years. Sir Robert Anderson (1841-1918) wrote a book entitled The Coming Prince, in which he precisely calculated the dates given in Daniel. Dr. Harold Hoehner (1935-2009), Distinguished Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, who wrote Chronological Aspects of the Life of Christ, confirmed Anderson’s work.

This prophecy began when Artaxerxes issued his second decree to allow Nehemiah to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1-8). This decree was issued (according to Anderson) on the first of Nisan, 445 BC (March 14, 445 BC on the Julian Calendar). We know from the Angel’s statement, “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks.” Thus the  wall (completed in 52 days—Nehemiah 6:15), the city, and the Temple would have been completed in 396 BC, 49 years after their beginning.

The seven years to complete the city, the wall, and the Temple, and the remaining 62 weeks, or 434 years bring us to the moment when Messiah the Prince revealed Himself to Israel at the Triumphal Entry, which occurred April 6, 32 AD (Julian Calendar) according to Sir Robert Anderson. That period totals 173,880 days, or 483 years of 360 days each, exactly as Gabriel prophesied. Check it out for yourself. The Coming Prince is available online, free, in PDF format; simply search for the title and you will find it. Both works are available at various booksellers.

The periods follow in turn and the events relative to those periods follow in turn as well. In other words, the seven-week period applies to the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the sixty-two week period applies to the time from the end of the seven weeks, or 49 years, until the crucifixion of the Messiah. This totals 483 years. The final seven will not occur until nearly the end of the age as we discussed above and will more fully discuss later in this essay.

Since the first two periods of weeks follow in the same succession as the two separate events, which are the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the coming of Messiah, then, it rationally follows that the third period of weeks follows in the same succession as the first two. In other words, the seven weeks precede the 62 weeks, which, in turn, precede the one week. The events follow in the same succession, namely, the rebuilding of Jerusalem, the coming of Messiah, and the seven-year covenant. Since the 62 weeks follow the seven weeks and the coming of Messiah follows the rebuilding of Jerusalem, then, it follows that the one week must occur after the Messiah comes.  In fact, Gabriel tells us the final heptad will take place sometime after the Messiah is crucified. Since the angel separates the 483 years from the final seven, so should we. Gabriel stops after the 483 years and tells about the destruction of the city and sanctuary before he begins again with the final seven. This separates them by an event not dated in this passage, namely the destruction of Jerusalem. We know from historical records that the destruction of Jerusalem occurred in 70 AD. When and where the final seven-year covenant will take place is not fully defined in these verses. We must search the scriptures for these answers.

Here is the succession in a visual format:

Seven Weeks Sixty-Two Weeks One Week
Rebuilding of Jerusalem Messiah Cut Off Seven Year Covenant
7 Weeks
49 Years (Subtotal 49)
62 Weeks
434 Years (Subtotal: 483 )
7 Years (Total 490)

Daniel 9:26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

Upon the completion of the City, the Temple, and the Walls, in 396 BC, 434 years elapsed. At that time, Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a colt as prophesied in Zechariah 9:9, thus declaring Himself as the promised Messiah. A week later, the Romans, at the behest of the high priest, crucified Him. That is the meaning of cut-off. He died. Prophecy declares the death of Jesus on the cross in this verse. 483 years after the decree of Artaxerxes, Jesus was killed on a Roman cross, precisely as Gabriel prophesied it.

“But not for himself” is rendered several ways in different translations. The LXX renders it “and there is no judgment in him.” The Syriac is “And it is not with him.” The KJV 1611 margin states, “and shall have nothing.” The New Living Translation puts it this way: “the Anointed One will be killed, appearing to have accomplished nothing, and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple.” The overall understanding should be that He ceased to have power and authority. It appeared to the world that he had accomplished nothing. However, we know the rest of the story. He arose on the third day and hundreds witnessed Him alive.

The angel stops there and goes in another direction. He then discusses the destruction of the very city and sanctuary he prophesied would be rebuilt. Gabriel says another prince will come that will destroy Jerusalem. The NLT (above—”and a ruler will arise whose armies will destroy the city and the Temple”) specifically states this. We know the name of that prince, Titus Vespasian. He came and besieged the City with the Roman legions, which were comprised of the soldiers from Italy as well as soldiers from the local inhabitants, who were a part of the Roman army. Not all Roman soldiers were Italian. Rome recruited soldiers from over the entire empire to serve in the army. Many local combat units were comprised of local men who joined the Roman Army. Rome fed and paid its soldiers adequately. Thus, many locals would join the army for economic reasons. Therefore, many of the Jews’ local enemies became Roman soldiers and participated in the destruction of Jerusalem and Judea. Josephus gives us a list of the various legions, squadrons, and cohorts and the countries of their origin. Many enemies of the Jews comprised these divisions. Actually, scripture says that the people of this prince, and not the prince, will destroy the city and sanctuary. And so it was. Titus and his generals gave orders not to destroy the temple and city, yet some over-zealous troops broke military order and set fire to the temple. The fire spread to the city and destroyed both the temple and the city.

We may note interestingly that the destruction of Jerusalem took 3.5 years to complete. After the destruction of the temple occurred, the Romans set up their pagan standards in the place where the Holy of  Holies stood. This would have been an abomination to the Jews. It was an abomination from the Romans, who also cause the desolation of the City—”the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet” (Matthew 24:15). Additionally, 3.5 years later, the Romans destroyed the Jews at Masada, sending them into exile that would not end until May 1948 AD. That was a seven-year period, and the first fulfillment of the seventieth week. Nevertheless, it was not the final heptad, which will occur at the end of the age.

The flood refers to the devastation of the army, which swept away everything, leaving not one stone unturned (See Isa 8:7, 59:19, Jer 46:7-8, Dan 11:22). The desolations continued until the Romans finished their campaign. I would say that this included the defeat at Masada. The flooding of the invading army swept away everything that was once Judah leaving nothing but destruction in its wake, just like a flood of water. The desolation included the polity, the property, the buildings, the infrastructure and the people, which the Romans carried off to captivity in distant lands. Nothing was left of the land of Canaan and specifically the territory of ancient Israel and Judah (now known as Palestine) but desolation.

The Brenton translation of the LXX has a different take on the verse. “And after the sixty-two weeks, the anointed one shall be destroyed, and there is no judgment in him: and he shall destroy the city and the sanctuary with the prince that is coming: they shall be cut off with a flood, and to the end of the war which is rapidly completed he shall appoint the city to desolations.”

This makes sense. Messiah Jesus will be killed and then, after His death and resurrection, He will use the “prince that is coming” as His instrument to destroy the city and sanctuary. The flood is the armies of Rome. The complete destruction occurred near the end of the siege and rapidly consumed the city and sanctuary because of the fire that the soldiers had started in the Temple. The military actions of the Romans desolated the city and sanctuary and banished the Jews from Judea. They then forbid any Jew to return to Judea.

The difficulty in the transition from verse 26 to 27 is a bit complicated to exegete. Some say that Titus, the prince in verse 26 is the “he” that will establish a covenant with many. That certainly seems to follow grammatically. One could make a very good point that Titus was that man. Yet there is a problem with that assumption. At the beginning of his prophecy, Gabriel noted six things that could only happen at the end of the age. To repeat them, Gabriel: prophesied that the seventy weeks were decreed to accomplish six things:

To finish the transgression

To make an end of sins

To make reconciliation for iniquity

To bring in everlasting righteousness

To seal up the vision and prophecy

To anoint the most Holy

These six things can only be consummated at the end of the age, which is a time still future even now as these words are written. Again, have all of these events taken place? Have transgressions or sins ended? No. Has reconciliation been made for iniquity? Not totally; there are many yet to be saved and be reconciled to God. Reconciliation is ongoing in this age. We will be fully reconciled to God at the end of the age when Christ receives His own to Himself. Has everlasting righteousness occurred? No. Have vision and prophecy been sealed? No. Since the destruction of Jerusalem took place, has the Most Holy Place been anointed? No. None of these items will occur until the end of the age; therefore, the second fulfillment of the seventieth week will not occur until the end of the age.

So how to do we understand any difference between the prince that will come in verse 26 and he that will make a seven-year covenant with many in verse 27? This covenant occurs during the last heptad; it is the final week of the seventy; it is the seventieth. Verse 27 discussed the seventieth week, which must occur at the end of the age in order that the six-fold purpose of the seventy weeks may be fulfilled. This could not have taken place immediately after the crucifixion because Jerusalem was not destroyed until 40 years later. This could not have taken place after the destruction of the city and Sanctuary because no seven-year covenant was made at that time nor has it yet been made. Thus, the prince that will come cannot be the “he” that makes the seven-year covenant unless he was able to live for hundreds of years. The two cannot be the same.

Since the six-fold purpose of the seventy weeks cannot be fulfilled until the end of the age, and the end of the age has not yet occurred, then this seven year covenant must occur at some future date, a date that approaches the end of the age. Therefore, there must be two distinct persons involved in this prophecy—Titus, and some future yet unnamed person. Many have come to this conclusion. Some have concluded that these six events were fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 and all prophecies were fulfilled in that event. Others conclude that since Titus was Roman, the man that confirms this covenant must be somehow descended from Roman stock. Some conclude this to be Antichrist. There are many other scenarios.

I believe the seventieth week is yet future. I do not believe the destruction of Jerusalem was the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy, though it was figure of the seventieth week. I believe it will occur exactly seven years before the end of the age. I believe the Antichrist or his agent will be the architect of this covenant. This very prophecy applies to the end of the age. The coming prince applies not only to Titus Vespasian, but to another coming prince. Titus did not make a treaty, but came with an invading army that did not stop until Israel ceased to be a country. The future prince will make the covenant prophesied of here. Again, this is my belief. It is not chiseled in stone. In the future, I may learn more about it and change my opinion.

Keil & Delitzsch, Nineteenth Century Commentators on the Bible, make this statement concerning the prince that makes the covenant, “Therefore the thought is this: That ungodly prince shall impose on the mass of the people a strong covenant that they should follow him and give themselves to him as their God.” And that brings us to…

Subtopic B—The Seventieth Seven

As we discussed in Topic 1, and in the subtopic above, the prophecy given to Daniel by Gabriel was of the entire period from Daniel’s day until the end of the age. The prophecy consists of seventy weeks, or sevens of years, or 490 years. After the first 69 sevens, the Messiah would be killed. The seventieth week occurs at a later period.

J. Dwight Pentecost expressed what he called the Law of Double Reference: “Two events, widely separated as to the time of their fulfilment, may be brought together into the scope of one prophecy. This was done because the prophet had a message for his own day as well as for a future time.” (Things To Come, J. Dwight Pentecost, 1958, Dunham Publishing, London. 1964 printing, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids). Let me add here, that there are multiple fulfillments of prophecy in the Bible. The Hebrews saw prophecy as a pattern and not a single isolated event. To a Hebrew, to know the future is to understand the past.

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.

The verse seems to continue with the exploits of the general that destroyed Jerusalem and the defeated Israel at Masada. However, this ungodly prince, who, because of the grammatical construction of the passage, is not Titus Vespasian; he was in view in verse 26 (see above). This seventieth week occurs after the cutting off of Messiah, and after the destruction of Jerusalem. Some claim this prince to be the Messiah; others claim it to be Titus. However, why would Gabriel, after keeping all the events in chronological order suddenly change and go back to previous occurrences in a later verse? I do not believe he would. The destruction of Jerusalem and Judea occurred as though a flood had swept over it.. Therefore, the seventieth week occurs after Messiah died and after Titus finished his campaign. The covenant of seven years of Daniel 9:27 did not happen under Titus. He made no such covenant.

Since we are certain that the Seventy Weeks concludes at the end of the age, then it seems to make sense to me that the last seven years occurs near the end of time. We will proceed on that assumption.

OK. So the ungodly prince that will come must be the ruler predicted to come by the Revelation of Jesus Christ at the end of the age. We have the two beasts of Revelation, one is comprised of the nations; it comes out of the sea of nations. It is a conglomerate of preceding kingdoms: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. The second beast, out of the earth, appears as a lamb but speaks as a dragon. This beast is the antichrist. He deceives men into believing he is God and into making peace with him. Revelation 13:3 “I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery—but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast.” It is at this point that the world seems to have peace. Yet, in just a few verses, he makes war with the saints. He persecutes and kills them. He conquers them. This very passage in Revelation fits with Daniel’s prophecy. Revelation is silent on the treaty, but here in this passage the world worships the beast with the exception of true believers. They do not so they are conquered, persecuted and killed.

Let us, once again, state the prevailing incorrect theory of the seventieth week of Daniel. Rapture adherents state that, in the end times, before the Antichrist comes, that Jesus will come and rapture the church. This will be a secret rapture leaving the ones left behind dazed. They will not understand what happened. Immediately after the rapture, the Antichrist will make a seven year peace treaty with Israel and will break that treaty 3½ years later, or half way through the treaty period. At that half way point the “Jews” (according to this theory), that is, Israel, will undergo the Great Tribulation. During this seven-year period, the church will be with Christ in Heaven at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Christ will return after the Great Tribulation. The church will be with Him and he will destroy his enemies at the Battle of Armageddon. This more or less describes the rapture as propounded by men like Van Impe, Lindsey, Lehaye, Walvoord, Pentecost, and plenty of others.

Unfortunately, that scenario does not fit the scriptures. The prophecy in Daniel states, “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.” We will later discuss the teaching that this prince is Jesus the Christ. However, let us now observe the teaching that this prince is Antichrist. According to this scenario, “He” is the prince that will come, or Antichrist, as Apostle John refers to him in his first epistle. He has other appellations as we discussed in the first topic. For the sake of brevity, we will refer to him as Antichrist through the remainder of this letter. Antichrist will confirm a covenant with many. The Hebrew shows that Antichrist will force this covenant on many. Literally, the Hebrew can also mean, “he has strengthened a covenant with the many.” He will come to them from a position of strength and they will be obliged to accept his terms. He will dictate the covenant to them.

This is similar to being conquered. Keil & Delitzsch put it this way: “Therefore the thought is this: That ungodly prince shall impose on the mass of the people a strong covenant that they should follow him and give themselves to him as their God.“(Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament under Daniel 9:27) Now this view is in concert with the Revelation of Jesus Christ (read Chapter 13, where the Antichrist forces himself on the people). It also agrees with Daniel’s prophecy of the Little Horn. Antichrist will force the many to worship him, and to worship the image of the beast and to accept a mark in their foreheads or upon their right hands. He will also make war with the saints—those who refuse to accept his covenant.

Who are these “many”? Numerous folks refer to them as Israel. They base this on Gabriel’s statement, “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people.” The seventy weeks certainly apply to the Israelites, but the entire world is involved in these events. The world revolves around the nation of Israel as it has since Joshua’s conquest of the land. Whatever happens in Israel is magnified throughout the world.

For example, at the very moment I wrote this paragraph, (Monday, May 21st, 2007), Israel was attacking rocket launching sites in Gaza, where guerillas were launching rocket attacks against Israel. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Hezbollah rockets attack Israel, killing innocents. Yet, those groups are not condemned. However, when Israel retaliates against this aggression, the whole world condemns the Israelis. These actions affect the entire world. The UN can talk of little else. Whatever happens in Israel resonates throughout the entire world.

A more current event, Israel’s 2010 naval blockade of Gaza and its attendant violence on board the Marmara have the whole world in an uproar. Israel is protecting herself, which any other nation has the right to do, yet she is condemned by the world, including our sitting president, Barak Obama, and the UN. Nothing proves the validity of the Scriptures more than Satan’s black hatred of Israel. His hatred of Israel is the reason for all the violence and condemnation surrounding Israel.

Let us not forget that the Bible is one coherent book written over a period of millennia by many authors with many callings, most of whom never met. The people of God are those that have accepted His precepts and trusted Him faithfully. That includes the nation of Israel and her adopted sister, the Church. The church is not separate from Israel but is a continuation of the plan of God that began at creation. The church is an extension of Israel and not her replacement. All true believers are Israelites according to scripture (Rom 9:6; 24-26; 11:17). So, we who are Christians are like wild olive branches grafted in to the good olive root stock that is Israel. We Gentile Christians are members of Israel and are their brethren by adoption. Israel and the church are one people according to the Scriptures. Satan hates all of us, but he especially hates the natural children of Abraham, the root stock of Israel, whether or not they are saved. That is why the world revolves around Israel. It is because Satan is instigating the world against the Jews first, and then the Christians. The Muslims’ primary goal is to wipe Israel off the map and when they have completed that task, they plan to go after Christians. As of this update, in addition to daily attacks on Israel, Muslims are already beheading Christians in many places in this world. They will not succeed in the end.

The seventy weeks determined upon Daniel’s people, the Israelites (and the offshoot of Israel, the Christians), resonated throughout the entire world. Men throughout the entire world noticed the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple. There was much opposition to the rebuilding of the city in 396 BC. The king gave his blessing to the reconstruction and provided funding to do so. Yet, even with the king’s charge to rebuild the city, the opposition nearly succeeded in stopping the work. In the face of much opposition, the work was eventually finished after 49 years, which is 7 weeks of years just as Gabriel predicted. Read the story in Ezra and Nehemiah.

The next part of the prophecy, the coming of Messiah, absolutely affected the entire world. Christianity began as a Jewish movement in Israel. That small Jewish movement became worldwide. The Apostles and other Disciples of Christ rapidly spread Christianity throughout the world after the resurrection. That was an earth-shaking event affecting history right up to the present moment. This Jewish movement affected millions upon millions of people, most of them Gentiles. Yes, the prophecy was for Daniel’s people, but it affected all nations for millennia.

The final week is no exception. Therefore, the many are not just Israelites; they are the multitudes of the world contrasted with the few who remain faithful unto God. Additionally, the Hebrew states “for many,” instead of “with many,” or as some translations render it, “the many.” The word translated many, is  a great many. This further contrasts great multitudes with the few. Jesus Himself said that only a few find the narrow gate leading to eternal life, but many take the broad path that leads to destruction. He meant that only a few, as compared to the multitudes, would believe in Him as Savior. These few reject the covenant of Antichrist.

Upon the auspices of bringing peace to a war torn world, Antichrist will force the multitudes into submission to his will, thus strengthening a covenant with the many. Still, those who remain faithful to God will not succumb to Antichrist’s power. This angers him and causes him to wage war against the saints, that is, those faithful to God (Daniel 7:21 & Revelation 13:7).

Many rapture adherents teach that this is a peace treaty made strictly with Israel. It is not. Though Israel will be at the center of this treaty, the covenant will be with the whole world. Israel is the center of this treaty because, in the future, Israel will be at the center of world turmoil, just as it is today.

The treaty itself will not be a peace treaty; it will be the law according to Antichrist. It is his system set up by him and executed by him. It will apply to the entire world. People break this covenant at their peril. Those who do will be hunted down and killed, many by beheading (Revelation 20:4). In order to maintain this level of order, the Antichrist will need to have much power and strength. I believe most of the world will be with him and support him with fealty, with resources, and with troops. I suggest reading about the role of Islam in this process. Several good resources are available. I recommend Joel Richardson’s books “The Islamic Antichrist,” and “Mideast Beast.”

John wrote the Revelation to the churches, that is, to Christians. The saints that the dragon wages war with are those saved by the blood of Christ. They are Christians, God’s people. The saints in Daniel 7:21 are also God’s people. After the Advent, God’s people are Christians. Before the Advent, God’s people were faithful Israelites who trusted in God to save them. They were saved because of thier faith in what God had revealed to them at their time. Both the Saints before and those after the Advent were God’s people based on their faith in Him. After the Advent, God does not consider those Gentiles or Jews that reject Christ to be His people (John 3:18, Romans 2:28, 9:6-8). Conversely, God does not consider His people, those saved by the blood of Christ, to be Jews or Gentiles, but simply, Christians, even though they may have been Jews or Gentiles before conversion. (Rom 10:12, Gal 3:38, Col 3:11)

Thus, the saints of Daniel 7:2 are those saved by faith and the saints of Revelation are also saved by faith. Those saved before the Advent were saved by their faith in what God had revealed to them. After the resurrection, they must be saved by belief in Christ, Whom God revealed fully in the New Covenant and Who fulfilled the completed revelation of God.

In the midst of the week, Antichrist changes the focus of his covenant. Though he forces the many to submit to his covenant, he himself changes his own rules. Many rapture adherents teach that he makes a seven-year peace treaty with Israel, and then, in the middle of the treaty, he breaks his covenant and all hellishness breaks loose. The scripture does not warrant this viewpoint.

There is no breaking of a treaty here. The text does not say it, nor does it imply it. It simply says that in the midst of the seven-year period, Antichrist will stop all worship of God. Antichrist has forced his rules on the many. This is not a negotiated treaty; it is a demand that people follow his will. What he will do in the midst of the week, is to stop the practices of worship i.e. sacrifice and oblation. He will attempt to change the set times and the laws.

The set times in Israelite worship practices are the festivals, new moons, etc. What is in view here is that he will stop all forms of worship. Note that this is the same thing Antiochus IV Epiphanes did. He attempted to stop the Jews from their worship practices. Antichrist will not break the covenant; the covenant is still in effect: Antichrist still rules over them. The difference between the first half of the covenant and second is that he demands worship of himself. Some will support this. The overspreading of abominations refers to the actions that will take place when the Antichrist stops the worship of God and demands worship for himself.  This proves who he really is—Satan.

Recall that antichrist means “instead of Christ” as well as “in opposition to Christ.” Paul tells us that Antichrist will claim to be Christ and will set himself up as Christ in the temple sanctuary (2 Thes 2:4). Apparently, he will allow people to worship God (or any god they wish) until he decides that he wishes all to fall down and worship him. We know from the revelation that the Antichrist has a seemingly living statue made in his image and demands that all bow down and worship it. The statue he sets up will be like Nebuchadnezzar’s statue; history repeating itself. It would not be surprising if musical instruments are played over loudspeakers as a signal for all to fall down and worship, just like in Daniel’s day.This is a brazen act of idolatry. The many will go along with this. The few will not.

This act of idolatry will undeniably set apart those who worship the image of the beast and those who do not. Those with the mark of the beast will he leave alone. The saints, who will not worship the image, and thus not receive his mark, will anger him. He will attack them. These very things cause the overspreading of abominations to occur.

Again, please note that the prince that comes does not break the treaty. He simply stops the worship of God (sacrifice and oblation). Then he demands worship of himself, just as the beast of Revelation 13 and Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel. The breaking of the treaty in the midst thereof is not biblical. The treaty is not broken. It remains in place for all who will worship him.

The last phrase of verse 27 reads, “and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

This seems a bit difficult to unravel. Let us break it down. Three things are in view here.

  1. Because of his widespread abominations (worshipping him and his image, blaspheming god, persecuting the saints, etc.), desolation comes upon him and his congregation
  2. This desolation will usher in the consummation of all things, that is, the end of the age
  3. The end will come upon him when Christ returns and destroys him and his legion with the sword of His mouth.

God’s Word translation renders the phrase, “This will happen along with disgusting things that cause destruction until those time periods come to an end. It has been determined that this will happen to those who destroy the city.” Copyright © 1995 by GOD’S WORD to the Nations Bible Society. All rights reserved.

As we learned earlier in this study, when this verse occurs, the rapture is very near. It is directly after John gives the number of the beast in Revelation 13 that the 144,000, are found with the Lamb, Who is standing on Mount Zion (Rev 14:1-4). Then the angel proclaims the Gospel to the entire world one last time (Rev. 14:16). Another angel proclaims the end of the Antichrist and his political and religious system, crying “Babylon is fallen!” (Remember Nebuchadnezzar and his statue). Shortly after that the rapture occurs (Rev. 14:14-16). Then in the next chapter, the great tribulation begins as the angels pour out the bowls or vials of God’s wrath upon the earth. Then the Lord Jesus Christ and His Bride descend from heaven on white horses and Jesus the Messiah defeats the armies of the Antichrist with the word of His mouth. The end of the age occurs. This brief discourse fits well with final words of the angel Gabriel in the last verse of Daniel chapter 9.

I am using the term, “rapture” because most people understand what that is. It is when Jesus returns and the church is “caught up” with Him into the heavens and taken home to glory with Him. I am no pre-trib rapture adherent because they believe that the church will be taken up to heaven before Antichrist, which is in direct opposition to the Scripture (2 Thes 1-4). They believe that the great tribulation is the time that Antichrist rules. I disagree. I believe the great tribulation is the pouring out of the seven vials of God’s wrath on the earth. The church will remain on earth during the reign of the Antichrist but will be caught up (raptured) to Christ before the great and terrible wrath of God is poured out upon the earth. Immediately after the seven vials are poured out, Christ returns to defeat those forced of Antichrist still living after that tribulation occurs. His church returns with Him.

Alternatively, some teach that the ‘he’ in Daniel 9:27 is not Antiochus IV Epiphanes, General Titus Vespasian, Antichrist, or another, but is actually Jesus Christ. There is no mention in the Scriptures of Antichrist ever making a covenant with anyone. Thus the covenant in verse 27 must be the New Covenant (Jer 31:31; Mat 26:28).

This teaching views Jesus’ baptism (or anointing) at the beginning of His 30th year (Luk 3:21 & 23) as the start of the seventieth week. This was 483 years after Cyrus the king of Persia proclaimed the commandment to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1-2). There were 490 years prophesied by the angel Gabriel in Daniel 9:24. When Jesus was baptized, 483 of the 490 years had passed leaving only seven years.
According to this view, three and one-half years after Jesus’ Baptism, and beginning of His earthly ministry, Jesus was crucified. Thus 3½ years after the New Covenant began, Jesus, Messiah was cut off. Since the curtain before the Holy of Holies was ripped in two at the very moment of His death, the sacrifice and oblation ceased. During the last 3½ years disciples preached the gospel to the Jews. Thus the Gospel was preached “to the Jew first” (Rom 1:16) and after the seven years, to the Gentile world.

This is a very compelling teaching. The only concern is when did the New Covenant start? According to Jesus own words, in Luk 22:19-20, “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.  (20) Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.” This places the beginning of the New Covenant, not at Jesus baptism (or anointing), but when His blood was shed at His death on the cross.

Concerning this concept, if the new covenant began at Jesus death, then the 3½ year idea is not viable. Did the covenant get broken 3½ years after Jesus death? Hardly. This apparent discrepancy renders the teaching that the ‘he’ of Daniel 9:27 is Jesus the Messiah unfeasible.


Many prophecies have multiple fulfillments. Most of the prophecies in Daniel 9:24-27 have multiple fulfillments. We need not go over territory we have already covered. For a review, see the six accomplishments of this prophecy at the beginning of this Topic. Since multiple fulfillment is a recurring theme in this prophetic passage, it is probable that the final week or seven-year period follows this dictum. It appears to. The first fulfillment of the prophecy was when Antiochus IV Epiphanes conquered Jerusalem and sacrificed a pig on the altar in the Most Holt Place. This was also the first fulfillment of the Abomination of Desolation.

The second fulfillment of the seven-year prophecy can be seen in Christ, Whose ministry lasted three and one-half years and then He was crucified. That would be a partial fulfillment of the seventieth week, in that the Antichrist stops all worship practices in the midst of a seven-year period.

A third fulfillment occurred when the Romans conquered the Jews and destroyed their temple, their city, and their nation. That took seven years from the beginning of the siege at Jerusalem and ending with the Roman victory at Masada. Just after the temple was conquered, the Romans set up their pagan standards (their own system of Emperor Worship) and offered sacrifices to them on the spot that was the Most Holy Place. That was the second Abomination of Desolation; this one being the one prophesied by Christ in the Olivet Discourse.

A fourth fulfillment occurred in the Seventh Century when Muslims conquered Syria and Iraq then took over the Holy Land as their own and built two Mosques on the Temple Mount. That was also an Abomination of Desolation still with us today.

The final fulfillment of the seventieth week is yet future. This will occur at the end of the age. At this time, another “prince that will come” will come in strength and power and will force the world to make a seven-year treaty with him. Again, you should read the book by Joel Richardson entitled “The Islamic Antichrist.” This future prince, or the Antichrist, will apparently allow the religions of the world, including Christianity and Judaism, to continue in their worship. This is probably because of world pressure. However, in the midst of the treaty period, which means somewhere between its beginning and end, probably at the three and one-half year point, he will stop all the worship practices of all world religions and demand that he be worshiped as God. Most will obey. True Christians will not. He will seek them out and kill as many of them as he can. Paul tells us he will sit in the temple of God and claim to be God. He may simply rule from the Dome of the Rock, which sits atop the Rock Moriah where Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac. Moriah was the exact location of the Holy of Holies in the temple. This would be the last fulfillment of the Abomination of Desolation. Again, if you will read “The Islamic Antichrist” you will get a very good understanding of the Muslim take on the end times. This will help you to understand the Bible’s version.

There is no need to fear this, for God is with you if you are a Christian. If you are living when this momentous event occurs, you will receive the strength to make it through the hellacious persecution (which is not the Great Tribulation) that will come upon the church. Antichrist and his minions will behead many. History shows us that those Christians martyred for their faith recently and in the past were well able to suffer the flames, the swords, the crosses, the tortures, and the beheadings. You will receive the strength to endure whatever happens to you. If you die in this period, you will join the martyrs in Heaven and sing praised to Christ with Whom you were able to suffer. It will be a great honor.

However, if you are not a Christian; if you do not believe in Christ as your Savior, you will probably follow the world in worshipping the beast. If you refuse to do so, you will be hunted and killed but you will not be given the strength to endure. If you do not have Christ as your Savior, here is what you must do: believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He was born of a virgin, grew as a man, died on the cross as a sacrifice in your place, was raised on the third day and today sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for your sins. Then a glorious thing will happen. After suffering through the persecution of Antichrist, Christ will return and receive His believers to Himself and you will join them in Heaven. After that, God will pour His wrath out upon the earth (in the Great Tribulation) and then those that survive will form an army against God. Christ will return to the earth and will destroy them with a word from His mouth. Then Christ will reign on earth with eternal righteousness. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!


Updated 8/13/2017

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